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the Horn
Minor League
April 6, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Stephen Vincent O`Rourke
March 28, 2004
This was one of my favorite games in Met history.....Cleon Jones slammed 2 home runs.....it was Opening Day.....Seaver and McGraw combined on a shutout.....and they defeated the hated Phillies (a very bitter rivalry back then.)! It provided a lot of optimism for the season ahead, and each of the stars of this game played pivotal roles in the incredible pennant run that lay ahead. It was a nervous time in the country (Watergate was beginning to get serious, Vietnam was still ongoing) and the Mets were still dazed by what had happened in 1972, losing Gil Hodges, perhaps the most respected manager at the time, the two week strike which saw regular season games cancelled for the first time. They had a great start in 1972 under Yogi, going 30-10, and of course had begun aquiring some great talent in Staub and Mays....but the Ryan trade would haunt them all year and see Fregosi being traded to Texas in June....for....nobody! But Opening Day planted a seed of hope in this ten year old!

Hank M.
September 15, 2004

I remember this Opening Day game. I had just gotten home from school and the Mets already had a 2-0 lead on Cleon Jones' first home run. Later on in the game, a preview of what was to come took place. I don't remember in which inning it happened, but Rusty Staub made a great catch in right field for the third out. He crashed into the wall and lay flat on his back. After Channel 9 showed a replay of the catch, he was seen running, uninjured, to the dugout.

Rusty would make the same kind of play in Game 4 of that year's National League Championship Series against the Reds. He injured his right shoulder on that one, though, affecting his performance in what would be his only World Series.

Except for the injury, the catch he made on Opening Day was a carbon copy of the one he made in the NLCS. It preserved a shutout for Tom Seaver, but also served as an omen for October.

Peter C
October 4, 2005

I remember being home sick from school with the flu or a bad cold (how convenient) and watching this game. I even made an audio tape of the opening ceremonies and the first inning or two. It's probably around somewhere. Does anyone remember the former P.O.W.s throwing out the first pitch? I have an image of 7 of them throwing balls at Duffy Dyer all at once, but I may be wrong. I also remember a blurb on the screen announcing Ron Bloomberg had become the first DH in Major league history. I occassionally would flip to Channel 11 where the Yankees were getting drubbed in Boston.

Felix the cat
September 7, 2007

If you watch this game and others on the 1973 Met Highlight Film, the Mets get the benefit of around 5 bad calls at first base, and 1 at the plate.

Ron Hodges tagging out Richie Zisk in the ball-off-the-top-of-the-wall play still sends shivers down my spine.

April 17, 1973 Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs 1, Mets 0
Paul M
April 17, 2013
I remember this game as it was one of the first of many 1-0 Mets losses. I was 8 and went with my brother and grandfather, "Daddy Frank," which is what we called him. Monday hit a homer over the center field fence and the Mets did not threaten all game. What I remember most, though, is going into school the next day with an absence note explaining I had missed school to go to a game with my grandfather. My 3rd grade teacher (who was, quite frankly, evil) said something along the lines of a ballgame is no reason to miss school. Note to all you teachers out there: there is no better reason for a boy or girl missing a day of school than to go to a ballgame with their grandfather! I am almost 50 now and still cherish the memory.

April 18, 1973 Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs 1, Mets 0
Paul R.
August 23, 2011
My buddy and I were in 8th grade when we went to this game. Funny thing, my memory was that it must have been a Saturday afternoon but I see now it was mid week so it must have been during Spring recess.

One of our moms drove us to the Manhasset train station and the other one picked us up on the way home.

Box seats in those days cost a whopping $4 each and it just so happened they had two available on the field level behind the Mets dugout, first row behind the walking path. These were probably the best seats I ever had in the 40 years I went to Shea.

I was so excited to see the Mets ROY on the mound, Jon Matlack, having already seen Tom Seaver at the stadium many times. He was going against a guy I never heard of before, Ray Burris.

Matlack was terrific, save a wild pitch in the first inning with a runner on third. That was all he gave up. Unfortunately, Burris was better. He gave up nothing in the 1-0 loss.

Everyone talks about how exciting pitcher's duels are, and they are, but when your team does nothing for 9 innings, it doesn't matter how great your seats are. We went home very disappointed.

April 19, 1973 Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs 7, Mets 0
Ed K
January 10, 2009
George "the Stork" Theodore got his first MLB hit in this game - a double off Burt Hooten.

April 21, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Montreal Expos 0
Jay Tysver
January 29, 2002
This game was helmet day. The first game I ever attended. I was 8 years old and it was with my cub scout troop. It was a weekend day game. I believe Matlack started and Milner hit a home run. I was happy to say that I did get to see Willie Mays play. He flied out to right- center field to Mike Jorgensen who made a great play on the ball and was also injured in some manner.

April 27, 1973 Fulton County Stadium
Atlanta Braves 2, Mets 0
Ed K
July 13, 2008
This game set a record for the shortest nine-inning Met game in history: 1 hour and 36 minutes. I believe that record still stands.

May 5, 1973 Shea Stadium
Houston Astros 9, Mets 2
DJ Johnny M.
April 28, 2005
I remember that it was a dreary, cold and damp Saturday afternoon with sporadic light rain. It was my 15th birthday. We had box seats along the 1st Base side. I remember Cedeno's long home run and Rusty's double. I remember Jim McAndrew looking real sad and frustrated on the soggy Shea mound that afternoon. Even the Astros pitcher managed a double. The day was entirely dismal.

May 6, 1973 Shea Stadium
Houston Astros 14, Mets 8
Peter C.
October 13, 2005
Going to this game was a present for my 9th birthday. It also happened to be Willie Mays' 42nd birthday. Before the game the Mets brought a cake to home plate and Jane Jarvis played "Happy Birthday" on the Thomas organ. Looked like it was going to be a happy birthday until Tug McGraw came in and had an awful outing.

May 8, 1973 Shea Stadium
Atlanta Braves 10, Mets 6
Peter C.
October 13, 2005
This is the game in which Marty Perez lined one back through the box and fractured Jon Matlack's skull. I had just turned 9 and have memories of watching on TV. Looking at retrosheet they have it listed as "Perez doubled to center." However I have a recollection on the ball ricocheting off Matlack and into the Met dugout. Anybody else recall this? I remember Matlack lying face up on the mound and being alert. Then when I heard he had a fractured skull I thought it meant that he might die. He actually returned to the mound 11 days later. Also, 2 batters later, Davey Johnson hit a grand slam to put the game away for Atlanta.

Ed S.
December 13, 2010

I also remember this game and the chilling/sobering replays shown on WOR-TV of the ball ricocheting off Matlack's forehead, and yes, into the Mets dugout. Also remember that the crowd had diminished noticeably in both size and "sound" after the incident. The Knicks, as I recall were in the playoffs that year and I remember hearing someone's very prominent radio in the stand, and the owner was giving scoring updates; again, it was easy to hear because the crowd had diminished and those who remained were eerily subdued.

There was little information on Matlack's condition throughout the remainder of the game, only that he was conscious, and I remember that he was visited the next day by Marty Perez in either Roosevelt (?) or Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. Definitely a scary moment.

Joe Santoro
July 31, 2014

Yes the ball did ricochet into the Met dugout. The official scoring was a ground rule double. Two runs scored on the play. I thought John Matlack died. I was in a complete state of shock. I can't believe he made it back after a couple of weeks. Hank Aaron homered afterwards and then Davey Johnson. Are you kidding me? Davey Johnson. Didn't he have over 40 homers that season? I hardly call him a long ball hitter. Hmmmm...was he the first of the juicers? Makes you wonder. Ok I'll take it back Davey. You won a W.S for us!

May 19, 1973 Shea Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Mets 1
Michael Bothner
May 1, 2002
This was my first baseball game. I was 11 years old. I was a Pirates fan at Shea Stadium. Rusty Staub hit a homer around the fifth inning. That held up until the ninth when Bob Robertson hit a homer to tie it. Willie Stargell hit a 3 run homer in the tenth and the Pirates won. I also remember the planes flying over us and how good the hotdogs were.

May 24, 1973 Dodger Stadium
Mets 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
Bob P
February 10, 2004
The first game of a west coast road trip finds the Mets and Dodgers playing 19 innings at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are up 3-1 after three innings, then they don't score for the next 16 innings. The two teams combine for 41 hits, and 37 of them are singles. Willie Davis has six singles for the Dodgers, and Rusty Staub has five hits--four singles and a double--for the Mets.

Tug McGraw pitched five innings of shutout relief for the Mets and he was followed by George Stone who pitched six more. Dodgers LHP Doug Rau gave up four hits and a walk in the top of the 19th and Jim McAndrew pitched the bottom of the 19th for his only save of the 1973 season.

Feat Fan
April 13, 2004

The longest game in Dodger Stadium history took place on May 24, 1973 when the Mets outlasted the Dodgers by a 7-3 score in 19 innings. The Mets four run 19th was keyed by RBI doubles off the bats of Rusty Staub (who had five hits on the game) and Ed Kranepool. Willie Davis had six hits, all singles, for the Dodgers.

I was living in Brooklyn at the time, still at home. I remember struggling to stay awake while listening to the radio play by play.

Bob P
June 11, 2007

As a follow-up to my post on this game in February of 2004, the Dodgers actually set a major league record by "banging out" 19 singles without an extra base hit.

The Dodgers went on to break their own record 15 years later when they had 22 singles without an extra base hit in a 1988 game against the Reds.

May 25, 1973 Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Mets 4
Phil Brewer
July 13, 2003
This is weird, but I was 10-years-old when this game was played and this is the game which made me a Dodger fan for life. I started following baseball in 1971 and was a big Mets fan (I lived on Long Island). So, the week of this particular game, me and my family were visiting my grandparents in Flushing, Queens. The game was on T.V. but late at night, so I fell asleep before it was over. When I asked my Dad the next morning who won, he told me the Dodgers did. I asked him how and he said, and I remember this like it was yesterday...."Willie Crawford hit a grand slam home run." Since the game was in L.A., I figured Willie Crawford would be a god having done such as a great thing in front of the home town fans, and I figured he was a god for just hitting a grand slam and beating the Mets. From then on, I was fixated with the Dodgers, and I'm a fan to this day...All because of one grand slam in a game I fell asleep to.

May 29, 1973 Candlestick Park
Mets 5, San Francisco Giants 2
Pete Carroll
October 15, 2010
Listened to this game late at night in Gettysburg, Pa. on my little transistor radio! Seaver was in total command until surrendering two consecutive hits, a double to Tito Fuentes and then a 2 run dinger to Willie McCovey. With the bottom of the order due up, it didn't look good for the Mets and Tom Terrific.....but fortunately, they came through and the Mets pulled the game out, 5-2. I remember having the radio turned about as low as it'd go as it was a school night and I ws supposed to be sleeping!

June 8, 1973 Shea Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Mets 3
Keith Mandra
August 5, 2009
I was 11 years old when I went to this game. My Dad belonged to The Knights of Columbus, and the group planned a trip out to big Shea via bus. I was thrilled to go! It was my 2nd Mets game. We sat down the 1st base line in the loge reserve section. Other then the sheer thrill of seeing the Mets in person at Shea, the only other thing I can recall was being sad that the Mets lost.

June 9, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Feat Fan
July 13, 2004
After the old timer's game at Shea, Willie Mays puts on his own show with a homer and circus catch and the Mets top the Dodgers, 4–2. Willie, older than a half dozen of the old Mets, hits #655 of his career. Rusty Staub drives in two runs to back Jon Matlack. In the old timers game, the Brooklyn Dodgers/Yankees lose to the Mets, 1– 0, in two innings.

Tim Roche
December 3, 2005

I had turned 12 a couple weeks earlier and these tickets were a Birthday gift. We arrived very early to the game and watched the Old-timers arrive. Spotted DiMaggio, and walked up to Willie Mays' pink Cadillac, "Say Hey" on the plates and phone in the car, touched the door handle knowing this was as close as I would ever get. The Mets were in their early 70's heyday and the Old-timers crowd was charged. Roy Campanella wheeled to home plate, Mantle, DiMaggio etc, very emotional. Then to top it all off Willie Mays hits #655 and the crowd went berserk. An old-timer on old-timers day, Willie was long past his prime but we were urging him on like no one would believe. Today, at 44, it remains one of my all time emotional baseball memories. I saw the Great Mays hit one out!

Hank M
February 22, 2006

An interesting rundown play occurred in the 7th inning of this game. The Dodgers' Dave Lopes got caught between first and second on a pick off attempt. After a few throws, Rusty Staub, seeing that no one was covering second, ran in from right field to cover the base. Rusty tagged Lopes out, then threw home to Duffy Dyer to nail Tom Paciorek at the plate.

It was a double play in which five or six Mets' players touched the ball. It also served a the game's most crucial play as it protected the lead for good. The alertness of "Le Grande Orange" made it happen.

Ed K
October 5, 2006

The Mets retired Gil Hodges' number at this Old Timer's day.

June 10, 1973 Shea Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Mets 0
DJ Johnny M.
August 12, 2003
I went to this game with my church group from NJ. The bus ride over to the stadium was fun. As they always are---when you're 15. It was another beautiful sunny, breezy Sunday afternoon at Shea with the usual mix of popcorn, beer, cigar smoke and hotdog odors wafting in the air. We sat in the loge. Koos had his stuff. Only problem was that Claude Osteen was better. Mets scattered 3 measly hits and I think I remember speedy Teddy Martinez reaching 1st on a very close play. Masterful pitching job by Osteen. You knew the Mets wouldn't win this one. Everyone wanted to leave the park early to "beat the crowd" I wanted to stay but in the end I had to abdicate to adult authority and we all kind of watched the Dodgers put together two more insurance runs in the 9th as we made our way down the escalators and out of the stadium. At least the bus ride back to Jersey was fun. We sang "99 bottles of beer on the wall". I don't think the church fathers cared for that.

Bob P
September 3, 2003

Not to be the fact police but...

Teddy Martinez led off the ninth with a double to right field for his only hit of the game. The other two Met hits reached the outfield too: Felix Millan singled to center in the 4th, and Jim Fregosi singled to left in the 7th.

Martinez did ground out twice in the game, so maybe your memory had him being safe on a close play, but it looks like he was out!

June 18, 1973 Veterans Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 9, Mets 6
Bob P
August 20, 2004
After winning five in a row at Shea, the Mets start a road trip with this 9-6 loss to the Phillies. The Mets would be swept in this series and go on to lose eleven of their next seventeen games.

Each team scored three runs in the first inning, with the three for New York coming on Rusty Staub's sixth homer of the year. But LHP Ken Brett settled down and pitched a complete game despite giving up six runs.

Brett also helped himself with a sac fly in the second inning and a leadoff homer in the fourth off Ray Sadecki. It was the third consecutive start for Brett where he hit a home run. Ken would also homer in his next start at Montreal on June 23 to make it four straight games with a dinger.

Ken Brett was a terrific hitter (not as good as his brother, of course) who batted .250 in 1973 with five doubles, four homers, 16 RBIs, and a .463 slugging percentage. Brett finished his carrer with a .262 batting average and 18 doubles, 10 homers, and 44 RBIs in just 347 at bats.

June 26, 1973 Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs 5, Mets 1
Tom V
August 21, 2002
I went to this game and because of my father's connections with a charity organization, I got to sit on the bench in the dugout with the team before the game. I was 15 at the time and remember being intimidated and excited. I looked to my left and sitting next to us was Yogi Berra (who ignored me and my brother, he seemed pretty serious). I don't remember anything about the game, but I most remember Rusty Staub talking to us and to another guest who was a former player. Rusty was very friendly and made a comment about the other guest having had written a book and Rusty commenting that he had written a cookbook while in Montreal. I got an autographed team ball, which I still have, with the signatures of Yogi, Seaver, Koosman, Willie Mays, etc.

June 27, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 7, Philadelphia Phillies 6
Bob P
December 21, 2004
In the first game of a doubleheader, the Mets jumped on Phillies starter Barry Lersch with seven runs and nine hits in the bottom of the first inning. The Mets had eight singles and a double, with Ron Hodges and starter George Stone each driving in two runs.

The Mets had just four more hits the rest of the game while letting the Phils get back in it. The Phillies scored two in the second and then three more in the third on a three-run homer by Mike Anderson.

Philadelphia closed the gap to 7-6 with an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but that was all the scoring for the game. Buzz Capra came in to pitch the last four innings, allowing no hits and retiring twelve of the fourteen batters he faced (he walked the other two).

Teddy Martinez went 4-for-4 in the game for the Mets. Teddy had just two four-hit games in his Mets career, and both of them were in 1973, against the Phillies, and in the first game of a doubleheader! Teddy also had a four-hit game for the Dodgers in 1977.

June 28, 1973 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 11, Mets 4
Glenn Don
October 19, 2009
I went this game as a 14-year-old boy with my little brother. It was Senior Citizens Day and my grandparents took us. We have a famous (unflattering) picture that I took that day of my grandmother. My bro was and still is a big Phils fan so he went home happy.

July 3, 1973 Jarry Park
Montreal Expos 19, Mets 8
Barry F.
April 5, 2002
There is an audio copy of this game available and if you want to listen to the LOW point of 1973, this may have been it. McAndrew was awful, but Tug may have set a record in this one: three pitches, six runs. That's a grand slam, double and two-run homer on CONSECUTIVE pitches! It was the career night of Bob Bailey. I would love to hear ANY memories of fans who either watched this game on TV or listened to it live. It is incredible to think that a little over three months later, after this complete SHELLACKING, that the Mets were NL Champs.

Kenny M
August 26, 2002

I am 99% sure that I watched this game on TV. I remember this game because of the rout, and the only detail that I can recall is that Duffy Dyer hit a late inning home run into the left field stands to bring the Mets total to 8.

Phil Brewer
July 13, 2003

This memory is for Barry F. I'll tell you how I remember this game. 1973 was my third year as a baseball fan, and a Mets fan. I was 10 years old and living in Riverhead, N.Y. in this tiny one-bedroom apartment. I was in bed at night listening to the game on the radio (I don't think the game was on T.V., but I could be wrong). Bob Bailey became an enemy for life for what he did to the Mets that night, but I also feared him as a kid for the same reason. Anyway, just a small memory prompt from long ago. Funny...the things you remember.

Ed K
September 15, 2004

I believe at the time this was a record for most runs scored against the Mets in a game. It was eventually surpassed by the infamous 26 run game in Philly in 1985. I agree it was the low point of the 1973 season.

Tommy N.
September 16, 2007

I was at this game!!! My family went to Canada on vacation this year and the highlight for me was a real major league game! Jarry Park was awesome, barely a double A park in today's standards, but not a bad seat in the house. Although the Mets got shellacked, it was still unforgettable for that 10 year old boy, me.

July 6, 1973 Shea Stadium
Atlanta Braves 2, Mets 0
December 10, 2001
My first Mets game!

8 years old, with my Dad & my uncle.

I loved the experience, but I remember leaving the game mad, because "we" lost. Somebody threw a 1-hitter at us (Phil Neikro, possibly?).

July 12, 2006

OK, so now I know it was Ron Schuler and it was a 2-hiiter, both hits coming in the bottom of the 9th...

Old Fashioned Met
November 10, 2015

Charlie, if you're still out there, I'd like to say to you that I remember this game very well myself. Ron Hodges singled on Schueler's first pitch of the ninth inning to break up the no-hitter. Hodges hit a ground ball that went just past the second baseman, who just happened to be Davey Johnson. Felix Millan also got a single before it was over.

July 7, 1973 Shea Stadium
Atlanta Braves 9, Mets 8
August 11, 2000
This was the game where Don Hahn and George Theodore collided viciously in left-center chasing a fly ball by Ralph Garr. I had just turned 7 and my Dad had taken me to Shea so I could see Hank Aaron and Willie Mays play before they retired. My best memory though is of Ralph Garr looking guily and circling the bases very slowly while the two Met outfielders were lying in the outfield and nobody even made a play. It was kinda scary. He got an inside the park home run on that play.

phil brewer
July 5, 2003

I remember this game like it was yesterday. I turned 10 years old 3 months earlier and was just getting to love baseball and the Mets. The game was on T.V. (WOR, channel 9) on Long Island. I couldn't believe it when Hahn and Theodore collided at their midsections, and I thought for sure George was gonna die on that play. Geez, the things you remember. I kinda always hated Ralph Garr after that because I thought he should have run out to help Hahn and Theodore instead of running the bases. But I was only 10. Anyone else remember this?

May 27, 2005

I remember it well. Watching it on Channel 9 and that collison was scary. I still remember the next day's Daily News back page: Mets Lose Theodore, Hahn in collision; Blow Game 9-8.

John _F
April 19, 2007

I remember this game well. My mother took me to the game for reasons that are lost on me now. It was about 3 weeks before my 9th birthday. At the time we lived in Jackson Heights so like most of the local kids I was a Met fan.

We were sitting in the Loge seats down the left field line. I couldn't believe what I saw on that play. I thought that one of the guys was dead at first because they hit so hard and one didn't move at all. I couldn't figure out who was who.

I remember watching the two Mets being led away on stretchers, but I also remember some idiot sitting near me laughing at the heavy guy who carried the stretcher out to the outfield. Other than that jerk, the place was like a morgue.

That play is the only thing I remember about the game. Until I found this web site I was convinced it was the Stork's last ever game, but apparently not.

I sort of lost touch with the Mets after '73 when we moved north to the suburbs of Albany. Didn't get back in touch with the Mets until cable t.v. came to our neighborhood in 1978.

Keith Mandra
August 5, 2009

I was not at this game, but I do remember it well. I had just turned 12 the day before and was swimming at a friends house that Saturday afternoon. We were all Mets fans and had the radio on outside in the yard, and I remember listening to this game. In addition to the collision, I seem to remember it being a crazy game.

steve corn
February 10, 2011

I was at this game. I remember the collision, and that Willie Mays and Cleon Jones replaced Hahn and Theodore. I felt bad for the fallen Mets, but Cleon was my favorite Met, and he had been injured, so this was his first game back, if I recall correctly.

Paul Fluhr
March 17, 2011

This was the first game I ever went to. I was 7 years old and my Dad took me. I remember walking out through the tunnel and seeing the field from the stands for the first time and thinking this is the greatest. I was disappointed that neither Hank Aaron or Willie Mays started the game. I definitely remember the collision and Garr running around the bases as Hahn and Theodore were on the ground. Hahn was able to get up and throw the ball back towards the collision before collapsing back down. Then they were both carried off on stretchers. Willie Mays and Cleon Jones replaced them in the outfield. The Mets went on to lose this game but I will always remember it.

Jolene T
September 26, 2013

This was the game we saw when we went home to visit relatives in New York the summer of 73. We were living in the KC area at the time so it was special to see the Mets when we could. The game was interesting because it was so unusual to see a Mets game with so much offense. Remember, the Mets in those years could pitch, but not necessarily hit. So Ralph Garr hits a fly ball out to centerfield and everyone around us was saying "Look out!" because you could clearly see Don Hahn and George Theodore on a collision course. And then "BOOM." When Willie Mays and Cleon went in to replace them, Willie flipped the ball to Cleon for him to throw it back after a single, I asked my dad "How come Willie couldn't throw it back?" He said "He's old, Jo Jo."

Jorge Laureano
January 10, 2014

I was thirteen years old and I was at the game with my mother. This was my "once-a-year" game tradition that I received as a kid. As far as I knew, this was my real Christmas gift! Anyway, I remember clearly the moment Don Hahn and the Stork Theodore collided in the outfield, it was terrible to see. They crashed into each other so hard I thought at least one of them was dead! Then just while they were finally being carried away I got chills when I saw #21 and 24 emerge from the dugout and replace them in the outfield. Cleon Jones and the great Willie Mays! The roar of the crowd was so loud and exciting as if 2 heroes came to the rescue! What a thrill that was and although the Mets lost that game, I always think of it as the turning point of the team's season... You Gotta Believe!

July 8, 1973 Shea Stadium
Atlanta Braves 4, Mets 2
John Barbato
June 24, 2006
I remember being at Shea with my father for this game. He and I used to go to at least one game a year when I was a kid. It was a sunny and hot July Sunday, and Hammer'in Hank knocked 2 out against the Mets. I was disappointed the Mets were never in this game, and lost it 4-2. Looking back it was fun to be with my Dad and head out to the ball park, watch a game, and get a few sips of his beer (what a treat). I also got to see some great players in Aaron, Mays, and Neikro play.

June 16, 2010

There is a video on you tube of Hank Aaron hitting his 695th career HR in this game...good stuff. Titled : Hank Aaron home run 695

July 9, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, Houston Astros 1
Daniel J. Erickson
April 27, 2012
I remember going to this game with my grandmother who lived in Maspeth, Queens. It was a great experience seeing Willie Mays perform just a smidgeon like the legend that he is.

July 11, 1973 Shea Stadium
Houston Astros 7, Mets 1
Kevin McLaughlin
April 1, 2002
Lee May hit a homer off Jerry Kooseman that may still be going. Tommie Agee came off the Houston bench to deliver an rbi hit, and got a nice hand from the Shea crowd. The only good thing for the Mets that happened that day was Fregosi was sold to Texas.

Mike Wiesner
July 16, 2008

I was 8 years old and it was my first baseball game. My father and I sat on the first base side so I could see Rusty better. I was taken out of the game prety early, the score being 6-1 after about 4 innings. Rusty went 0 for 4. We had box seats and I remember two elderly black men sat next to us and they were Houston fans! What was that about? Then, as fathers will do, it was the old let's beat the traffic deal. So we left around the middle of the eighth. Thanks for letting me track down this game so I could find the date!

July 13, 1973 Riverfront Stadium
Cincinnati Reds 2, Mets 1
Tim Tonjes
April 15, 2004
My first MLB game ever to see. I'll never forget the Big Red Machine and the Mets. Only so sad Willie Mays never got in on this Double header. Got an autograph from Jerry Koosman from the Mets, it has since been lost.

Would like to know how to get ahold of Jerry to ask for another. I'll never forget how kind Mr Koosman was, in getting his signature. WOW. Something I'll never forget!

July 14, 1973 Riverfront Stadium
Mets 5, Cincinnati Reds 2
Jim Workman
October 21, 2015
This was my first MLB game. I was 9 years old at the time, so details are a little fuzzy. But I remember Willie Mays' double went to the LF corner. Still pretty good wheels for an old man. And there was a rain delay. Also, I remember waiting for players to come out after the game so I could ask for autographs (my parents found the parking lot somehow) and Reds OF Bobby Tolan blew past all the kids and sped away, squealing his tires. We have a photograph of me looking up at him and he stormed by. The Reds and Mets seemed to be bitter rivals that year, as the Rose-Harrelson brawl in the playoffs would probably prove. I had all of my Mets and Reds baseball cards with me, so I recognized the players very well for a young kid.

July 17, 1973 Fulton County Stadium
Mets 8, Atlanta Braves 7
May 19, 2005
Watching on TV, this was one of the greatest comebacks I had ever seen. Seven in the ninth to pull out an 8-7 win.

September 16, 2007

I watched this one on TV too. I was 11 at the time. They were down 7-1. Millan walked to lead off the 9th, then Staub homered. Jones walked, then Milner homered. They scratched out 3 more, with Mays driving in 2. I remember how I danced with joy in front of the TV. Great memory!

Will Smith
March 27, 2008

I was 7 years old, going on 8 at the time. The neighbors were over the house having coffee. Mr. Schuster, a big Mets Fan, had given up on the game. I was watching it alone in the living room. At the end, I went to the kitchen to tell them that the Mets had won. No one believed me.

Jim Snedeker
October 30, 2015

I was in the Bronx at the Yankee game this evening. A friend of mine invited me and we went with his dad and a couple of his other friends. The game was pretty humdrum, as the Yanks beat the Twins 4-1. The highlight for me was that we sat just above the broadcast booth and we got to see Phil Rizzuto. Anyway, as we were leaving the game, we heard over the car radio about the Mets' game and how they'd scored seven runs in the 9th, with Willie Mays driving in the winning run! As a long-time Willie fan (even before he was on the Mets), I was thrilled.

July 26, 1973 Busch Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 13, Mets 1
Bob P
September 8, 2006
First game of a disastrous doubleheader in St. Louis. The Mets came into this game in last place, seven and a half games behind the first palce Cardinals, and nine games under .500.

Bob Gibson pitched a complete game for his eleventh win of the season, and helped himself with a fifth inning grand slam which turned a 6-1 game into a 10-1 game.

The Mets actually led 1-0 in the second inning thanks to a Lou Brock three-base error and an Ed Kranepool sac fly. But the Cards were unstoppable after that.

The Mets also lost game two with the key hit being an eighth inning home run by Joe Torre, and when the evening ended the last place Mets were 42-53, and 9.5 games out of first place.

The Mets went 40-26 the rest of the way--still not a blistering pace--while the Cards went 28-36.

July 30, 1973 Shea Stadium
Montreal Expos 1, Mets 0
Hank M
October 15, 2008
I was at this game, sitting in the mezzanine between home plate and first base. It was the first game of a twi-night doubleheader that was on the original schedule. It wasn't any means of making up a rainout, which is what all doubleheaders have since become.

The game was a pitcher's duel between two good young hurlers. Jon Matlack pitched for the Mets, allowing only a Pepe Frias single over the first eight innings. Meanwhile, Montreal's Steve Rogers (just starting his career) held down the Mets, pitching shutout ball himself. Neither team was able to generate any offense.

In the ninth, the Expos broke through. Ron Hunt got on base and eventually came around to score the game's only run. They almost scored again that inning, but Rusty Staub prevented that. He made a perfect throw to Ron Hodges, nailing the runner trying to score from second on a single. Rusty's throw went right to Hodges on the fly - no bounces. A better one couldn't be made.

Rogers then got the Mets out in order to end the game. It was a hard luck loss, especially for Matlack. As for myself, this was the first Met game I attended that they did not win. Sadly, it wouldn't be the last.

July 30, 1973 Shea Stadium
Montreal Expos 5, Mets 2
Hank M
October 15, 2008
This was the second game of a doubleheader I attended. It was also the first time I was at Shea for a game played at night. Looking at the field lit up amid the dark sky from the stands rather than on TV was quite a sight!

Tug McGraw, normally a reliever, was the starting pitcher for the Mets for this game. He did pretty well, lasting into the sixth inning and allowing only one run before being taken out.

The Mets took the lead in the fifth. Bud Harrelson led off with a triple to the right-center field wall. He later scored when he slid under the tag on a play at the plate. Gene Mauch argued with the umpire over it, but Buddy was safe.

The lead didn't hold up, though. The Expos tied it and, in the tenth, won it. With the bases loaded, John Boccabella hit a fly ball down the left field line that just eluded Cleon Jones. It went for a double as all three Expo runners scored, finishing off a sweep of the doubleheader for Montreal.

July 31, 1973 Shea Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Mets 1
Matt Ward
April 6, 2002
This was my first visit to Shea Stadium! My Yankee fan father finally broke down and took me and my brother to a Mets game. We sat on the third base side of the mezzanine level. Until finding this website, all I remembered was that it was late July of '73 Vs. Pittsburgh and that the Mets lost a low scoring game. I had forgotten who pitched for the Mets but did remember that Dock Ellis started for the Pirates. My dad has also told me that on that final night of July with the Mets at the bottom of the NL East, I told him that the Mets would win the division that year! And they did!

August 1, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Peter C.
October 13, 2005
This was a very exciting night for this 9 year old. Not only was it the first doubleheader I attended but also the first time I got to see Tom Seaver pitch in person. He was overwhelming as he shutout the dreaded Lumber Company on 4 hits, striking out 5 in the first 2 innings on his way to 11 for the game against 0 walks. What I had forgotten about this first game of the twinighter was that Steve Blass started for the Pirates. Looking at the boxscore you can see how he was struggling with what would become known as "Steve Blass Disease." Five walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch in an inning and two thirds. In 1972 Steve Blass walked 84 batters over 249 innings. In 1973 he walked 84 in 88 innings and also hit 12 batters. His ERA ballooned from 2.49 to 9.85.

David Burnett
February 1, 2013

How could we mention the August 1, 1973 doubleheader with the Pirates without mentioning the 2 home runs hit by John "The Hammer" Milner (RIP Hammer) in the 2nd game of the doubleheader? Pretty exciting for a 12 year old.

Peter C.
August 1, 2013

To Pop Pops and Rita in heaven. Forty years ago today you took me to this doubleheader. All these years later, it is still one of my best memories of the Mets. Thank you.

August 1, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Peter C
October 4, 2005
The Mets completed the sweep as John Milner homered twice and George Stone came within one out of a complete game shutout. We left after the 7th and heard the end of the game in the car. I remember sitting in the left field loge for the 2 games and have always felt that this was a night that the Mets began to turn their season around.

August 3, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 7, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Matt Sissman
November 18, 2003
Went to this game with my dad, and got to see the penultimate home run of Willie Mays' career. A very happy memory.

Bob P
November 27, 2003

Willie's HR came in the bottom of the seventh, a three run shot off veteran RHP Diego Segui. It turned a 4-3 Met lead into a 7-3 Met lead and that was the final score. Willie would hit his final homer two weeks later.

Jon Matlack pitched a complete game, allowing ten hits and striking out eleven. John Milner had to leave the game in the bottom of the first when he tripled to right field and was hit by the throw to third base.

The win still left the Mets in last place, 8.5 games behind the first place Cardinals.

Matt Sissman
March 13, 2004

Felix Millan also collected his 1,000th career hit in this game as well.

George K
August 5, 2005

I'm from New Jersey and it was my first Mets game. I had just turned nine years old and can vividly remember John Milner taking the throw on the side of the head between second and third. I also remember Willie Mays' 3-run blast.

I think one of the most visual images from that day 32 years ago, was that my step-father was standing on his seat (3rd base side box seats) and a foul ball was lined about 10 feet over his head. (And everyone else's!) I can recall it like it just happened.

I've been a Mets fan ever since and will be seeing them next Friday at Dodger Stadium (I'm in the Air Force and stationed in California). Thanks for the opportunity to share my memory.

August 5, 1973 Shea Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 3, Mets 2
October 15, 2008
My first Mets game. I was 8. I loved Tom Seaver.

December 23, 2009

First Game of a double header. I was at this game. One interesting moment: The Mets were down 3-2 in the 8th and the Cards had loaded the bases on Tug McGraw. With 2 out, someone (Joe Torre?) hit what looked to be a HR to left and Cleon Jones made a leaping grab (Endy Chevez like) over the wall to save what I recall would have been a Grand Slam. McGraw then pitched a scoreless ninth. While the Mets did lose the game,I wonder what would have happened if Jones did not catch the ball. After this game, McGraw seemed to find his confidence and was a major factor in the Mets improbable '73 run.

Prior to that at bat, Tug was having a bad year and was totally unreliable out of the pen. I know the Mets lost anyway, but what would have happened to Tug and Yogi's confidence in him if that ball carried an extra 2 feet for a HR?

Jim Torre
October 14, 2015

I went to this doubleheader with 3 of my best friends, I was 15 years old. We sat in the mezzanine level above 1st base, I remember that we were baking in the hot mid day sun. I was so glad that Seaver was pitching hoping for a win but not today. This was the first time we saw, or even heard the name "Bake McBride", we thought that the Shea PA announcer mis- pronounced the poor guy's first name. As I recall, Bake turned out to be a pretty good ball player.

Jim Torre
August 11, 2015

I went to this doubleheader with 3 of my best friends, I was 15 years old. We sat in the mezzanine level above 1st base, I remember that we were baking in the hot mid day sun. I was so glad that Seaver was pitching hoping for a win but not today. This was the first time we saw, or even heard the name "Bake McBride", we thought that the Shea PA announcer mis- pronounced the poor guy's first name. As I recall, Bake turned out to be a pretty good ball player.

August 5, 1973 Shea Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Mets 1
December 23, 2009
I was at this double header. If you had told me that the Mets would rally and win the NL East and then come 5 outs from winning it all after dropping this pair to the Cards, I would have said you were crazy. Seaver pitched the first game and was his usual excellent self.. All I recall about this game was a John Milner HR and some old lady behind me screaming her head off at this old guy she was with when he came back from buying a beer. "JAHN MIL-nuh hit a home run. Y'all missed it. JAHN MIL-nuh hit a hooome run."

August 15, 1973 Jack Murphy Stadium
Mets 7, San Diego Padres 0
Randy Post
October 28, 2006
I saw this game on a Wednesday in San Diego. Tom Seaver pitched a 2 hit shutout. Seaver led off the third inning with a triple but embarrassed himself by getting thrown out at home by such a wide margin on a grounder to the shortstop that he didn't bother sliding.

August 17, 1973 Shea Stadium
Cincinnati Reds 2, Mets 1
Bob P
August 26, 2003
The only run the Mets scored in this game came on a fourth inning home run by Willie Mays off LHP Don Gullett. The homer turned out to be the last one of Willie's career...number 660.

John K
April 20, 2004

I was seven. My dad and I sat in the Mezzaine in right. Johnny Bench was playing right that night and I felt honored to get to see him up close. Also got a great view of Willie Mays' last home run in the Majors -- a liner to right center. George Stone pitched great for the Mets. Remember Johnny Bench running over Mays who was playing first that night. It was a close play and Mays had leaned into the basepath and Bench rolled him over. Mays was down for a couple of minutes. The Mets never got back up. Reds tied it, and won it on an extra-inning Hal King homer.

Vic Nogalo
April 12, 2004

I am from Cleveland. My Godfather who lives in New York took me to Shea that night. It was the first time I have been to another ballpark other than Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. I was 12 years old and remember seeing Mays' home run to right center field early in the game. I also remember Bobby Tolan's great catch in center field that night in the ninth inning that pushed the game into extra innings. We left after the ninth inning. Little did I know that this was Mays' last home run of his career. It is this game and Len Barker's perfect game in 1981 that I can say "I was there".

Tim M
August 11, 2015

I was 11 years old, It was my birthday and my Dad took me to the game. We lived in Ronkonkoma so it was always a bit of a journey to get to Shea but my grandparents lived in Richmond Hill so we would go every so often. I kept telling my dad that Milner was going yard but much to my father's delight it was Mays. I remember thinking how strong he was. He just kinda flicked the bat at it and drove it out the other way. I didn't realize until just now that was his last dinger. Somehow it seems fitting; he was my Dad's favorite player and we were both there to see it. Pretty cool.

August 18, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 12, Cincinnati Reds 1
May 26, 2005
I remember Johnny Bench climbing the wall in right center trying to catch a HR by John Milner.

August 20, 1973 Shea Stadium
Cincinnati Reds 8, Mets 3
Walter Harvey
October 18, 2004
This is the first Mets game I ever attended. My dad knew some of the ushers, so he got us in box seats on the 3rd base line. I was five years old, and until I found this site remembered little about the game other than the final score (8-3 in 16 innings) and that Seaver and Billingham started. Good memories.

December 13, 2010

I remember this game very well. It was one of my favorite childhood memories.

I was 8 years old and day camp had ended for the summer. My brother, who was 11, and I were sitting around the house watching TV when my mom decided that we needed to get out of the house. She called my friend's mom and we all hopped onto the Q44 bus line to Roosevelt Avenue to go to Shea to catch this afternoon game.

I remember that we didn't arrive until the 3rd inning and I was upset that we had already missed some of the game. My mother and her friend were chatting while the game went into extra innings. At 5:30 p.m or so, my mother noticed that the game was still going on (day games started at 2:00 p.m. in those days) and started to bug us about leaving, since she needed to get home to make dinner for my dad. We whined and complained and ended up staying for the whole games. We got home about 7:30 p.m. Even though they lost, what a great day.

Charles Donovan
December 13, 2010

I was this game as a 18-year-old Met and Tom Seaver fan. He mowed down the Big Red Machine, but his weak-hitting team couldn't get him that one run he needed. I'm 55 now and still consider Seaver one of the best of my lifetime.

August 21, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
Stu Baron
July 2, 2011
I attended this game as a 13-year-old. I believe the Mets were in last place at the time, and as we approached the entrance to Shea, my brother saying, "it sure looks like the Mets aren't going anywhere this year."

August 22, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
January 9, 2001
I saw this game with my dad - Mets got one or two in the ninth to win!!! (Can't remember exact details, but I think Felix knocked over the catcher to score the winning run.)

Note the winning pitcher - Tug McGraw, who came into the game 0 - 6 on the year. This was the night that turned him around in '73. He was awesome after this...went from 0 - 6 to 4 - 6 in 1.5 months.

Kevin McLaughlin
April 1, 2002

I was at this game too. The Mets scored twice in the 9th. Staub got the winning hit. Andy Messersmith started for the Dodgers. He dropped a 2 out pop-up behind the mound with the bases loaded to let in the first 2 Mets runs (5th or 6th inning I think). Then they won it in the 9th, and McGraw was saying "You gotta believe!"

June 7, 2003

Hey Kevin - yeah, Andy M. dropping the pop-up. I can still see it. He was on the mound, I think. Not on the grass. My Dad reminded me that a pop-up is never a pitcher's ball cause he doesn't have the angle on it. I think of that play every time I see a pitcher field a pop-up or get called off by an infielder.

August 26, 2003

Actually, John Milner got the game-winning hit. McGraw batted for himself with the Mets down a run in the 9th, bunting the tying run to second base. Garrett grounded out to first, moving the runner to third. With two outs, Felix Millan tied it with a clutch single. Staub then singled and LA pitcher Jim Brewer was taken out with lefty Pete Richert coming in. On the very first pitch, Milner singled to center, with Millan knocking over Steve Yeager with the winning run.

February 26, 2004

I remember this game very well. I was 10 years old and we had box seats behind first. I remember the dropped pop by Messersmith and Milner's game-winning hit to right field between first and second. It was kind of a turnaround game--I think Mets moved out of last place that night.

August 22, 2013

On this, the 40th anniversary of this thrilling game, I'm thinking of my Dad, who took me.

He died in 2004 and he has a Mets hat in his casket.

Also, thinking of Tug McGraw, who turned it around on this night, and John Milner, who got the base hit to win it.

Great memories... the type Fred and Jeff seem powerless to provide.

August 24, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 1, San Francisco Giants 0
Stu Baron
February 28, 2002
This was a classic '60s-early '70s pitchers duel, as Kooz went toe-to-toe with Juan Marichal, both guys going the distance before the Mets scratched out the winning run on a 2-out hit in the 10th.

Bob P
August 20, 2004

This was Juan Marichal's final appearance against the Mets..and fittingly, he pitched nine scoreless innings.

Fortunately for the Mets, Jerry Koosman pitched ten scoreless innings, and in the bottom of the tenth, Ken Boswell led off with a single. Marichal's long-time teammate Willie Mays followed with a sac bunt (!), and then Felix Millan singled for the only run of the game and a Met victory.

Marichal won his first NINETEEN decisions against the Mets. They didn't beat him until July, 1967.

Hank M
December 19, 2004

One interesting sidenote to this game is that it was the Giants' first extra-inning loss of the season after 11 wins! Felix Millan's game- winning single was a shot to left-center field. It probably would have been for extra bases if it wasn't a "walk off" hit.

After Ken Boswell crossed the plate, Karl Earhardt held up a big yellow sign with a picture of Felix the Cat and RRRIIGHTEEEOOO! written across it.

Jerry Koosman pitched a great 10 innings! He even caught Bobby Bonds off first base with a great pick off move. Starting pitchers rarely go this far in games today with bullpens being so prevelent. But on this night, Yogi Berra let Kooz pitch the tenth inning and he got the win he deserved.

Neil K
November 28, 2014

I will never forget this game, as it was my first Mets game EVER! Whatta game to see as a 11 yr. old diehard fan.

August 25, 1973 Shea Stadium
San Francisco Giants 1, Mets 0
October 21, 2003
Gary Matthews hit a foul ball into the stands to lead off the game and Jerry Grote made the catch, however a fan ripped the ball out of Grote's glove. Given a second chance, Matthews got a base hit and later scored the games only run.

October 28, 2003

Wow-- great job Greg--- After the Moises Alou play last week in Chicago I was telling friends that I once attended a game that I thought was vs SF where a fan took the ball from Grote, and the hitter later became the only runner to score vs Seaver.

As we left that afternoon, there was NO WAY we thought the Mets could make a pennant run.

My memory was right, but you made it easy for me to prove it!!!!

It was the second straight year I saw a 1-0 Mets/Giants game, as Buzz Capra had beaten Marichal in 1972, the day before Willie Mays made his Mets debut.

March 1, 2004

Yes, that was the game with the foul pop up in the first inning that was taken away from Grote. I remember it well. A tough loss.

October 5, 2006

I was eight years old at the game with by dad and my younger brother. I had been to two previous games the previous season, both Met losses. The jinx continued. I think Milner hit one deep to center in the ninth that almost tied it

August 28, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 8, San Diego Padres 6
Steve L
August 4, 2001
My very first Mets game!!!!

I don't exactly remember the details of the game. But I was just in awe of the green grass the sights and sounds it was incredible! The other thing I remember is that we got these tickets through some Dairylea promotion does anybody remember this promotion? You had to send in coupons I believe they had to equal 20 points and that was good for one ticket, I member packing the envelope and sending these coupons in and the tickets arriving a few weeks later. The whole thing brings back great memories.

August 14, 2013

Its funny, this was my very first Mets game as well. We got there right after the game started and I remember Matlack pitching and he was already in trouble. The biggest thing I remember about the game is Nate Colbert hitting a 9th-inning home run into the parking lot.

I will never forget my first sight of the field when I walked up the ramp, and saw that big giant scoreboard for the first time. It was a magical night and one I will never forget. Only 7 years old at the time, but remember like it was yesterday.

August 30, 1973 Busch Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 1, Mets 0
Bob P
February 6, 2004
Tom Seaver shuts out the Cards for nine innings, but it's not good enough because the Mets can't score a run despite four hits and seven walks off St Louis starter Reggie Cleveland.

Jose Cruz singles home Lou Brock in the bottom of the tenth for the only run of the game, and the Mets (61-71) will spend the night in last place for the final time this season. The Mets go 21-8 the rest of the way and win the NL East.

Ed Koch
September 8, 2004

The Mets had just gotten out of last place the day before, and this loss put them back in last place for the last time that season. It was pretty devastating and should have effectively ended the season but we all know what happened in September.

September 2, 1973 Busch Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 7, Mets 4
Ed K
July 4, 2004
This was the game that Felix Milan and Tim McCarver got in a fight that led to a bench clearing brawl.

September 3, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Steven from Monroe
October 2, 2001
My first Mets game!!!! A mere 6-year-old at the time. Koosman, one of my favorite pitchers, pitched a gem. I also seem to recall light- hitting infielder Teddy Martinez putting one over the wall! The second game saw Craig Swan's debut, I believe. He did not have his stuff this day, but he turned out to be a pretty good pitcher for the Mets, unfortunately during some of the real lean years. What is Bruce Boisclair up to?

September 3, 1973 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 6, Mets 3
April 28, 2004
This was the second game of a doubleheader and, if I'm not mistaken, it was Craig Swan's major league debut. I was 10 at the time and I remember Swan looking very nervous. I was unhappy because the Mets were starting to play well and were within striking distance of Pittsburgh -- so why were they starting a rookie with stage fright? Yogi would do the same thing with Bob Apodaca in relief against the Pirates later in September -- and that almost backfired too.

Funny how two guys who got their ML debuts for the Mets in the heat of the '73 pennant race ended up becoming quality ML pitchers for them -- even though they started out terribly.

Bob P
April 30, 2004

Yes, it was Swan's major league debut, and unfortunately for Craig, he started it off by loading the bases with nobody out on a single and two walks. Luckily the Phillies got just one run in the top of the first, and in fact, the Mets came back with three in the bottom of the first and hoped that would help Craig settle down.

He didn't. He wound up pitching to 22 batters and 11 of them reached base safely. It could have been a lot worse for Swan if Greg Luzinski hadn't been thrown out stealing (what?!?!?) in the first inning and if LF John Milner hadn't thrown Mike Schmidt out at the plate to end the fourth inning.

One oddity in this game: in the bottom of the third with two outs and runners at first and second, Don Hahn hit a ground ball to the right side and Ron Hodges, the runner at first, was hit by the batted ball for the third out of the inning.

September 7, 1973 Jarry Park
Mets 1, Montreal Expos 0
flushing flash
July 4, 2005
The Mets won this 1-0 game on a leadoff home run by Wayne Garrett. The only other time the Mets won a game in this fashion was in 2004 on Kaz Matsui's leadoff home run off Randy Johnson.

September 7, 1973 Jarry Park
Mets 4, Montreal Expos 2
Ed K
November 24, 2006
One the greatest and less remembered clutch relief efforts by a Mets pitcher - Tug McGraw. The Mets swept the Expos in a doubleheader in old Jarry Park in their miracle drive to win the division. McGraw came in to get the last out and save the opening game. He then pitched 5.1 scoreless innings to win the 15-inning nightcap.

September 15, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Chicago Cubs 1
Paul N
January 30, 2013
This was the first game that I ever went to. I was ten years old and I believe it was a Banner Day Doubleheader. We drove down from Newburgh, NY in our 1972 Chevy Townsman station wagon. It was my Dad and my brother Steve that went and we sat in the Loge section above third base. I remember walking into the stadium from the concourse and being amazed how green the grass was. The first time we saw Jerry Grote and Wayne Garrett we went crazy because up til then they had just been on TV for us. We had a great time and saw Ferguson Jenkins in the first game which the Mets won and we stayed for about 3 innings of the second game and my brother and I have been Mets fans ever since and have been at even more memorable games in the 80's and 00's, but nothing like your first.

September 17, 1973 Three Rivers Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Mets 3
Ed K
October 25, 2004
A rare off day for Seaver as he was coming back on three days rest after pitching 11 innings to beat the Phils. This was the first of five straight games with the Pirates who were in first place and the loss put the Mets 3.5 games back and in desparate shape. Then the magic began to flow as the Mets won the next 4 games.

September 18, 1973 Three Rivers Stadium
Mets 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
July 18, 2000
What a comeback 5 in the 9th inning then hold on for dear life with apodoca who got no one out in his debut and buzz capra. If anybody knows if a tape of this game is available please put it on this site

Kevin McLaughlin
September 30, 2003

This was a MUST win, in order to stay close to the Pirates, during the great pennant race of '73. I'll never forget how upset I was as the Mets came to bat in the top of the 9th. Listing to to 9th inning with my transistor under my pillow (my mother had sent me to bed), I heard one of the Mets biggest regular season comebacks ever.

And then, while the Great Bob Murphy was doing the "happy recap" he said, "If the Mets had lost tonight, they would be 4 & 1/2 games back...A HILL TOO STEEP TO CLIMB!"

September 19, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Kenny M
June 11, 2003
I remember being at this game as a 9-year-old with my father. I think it was a night game. My idol was Cleon Jones, and ironically he hit 2 home runs in this game, which I remember vividly as I was sitting in a field box in shallow left field. May have been one of his best offensive games ever, as he also had 5 RBIs. The next night was the crazy game that went into the late hours when Cleon threw a strike to the cutoff man when the ball hit by Pirates Dave Augustine bounced off the top of the fence, and Richie Zisk was nailed at the plate by Ron Hodges.

September 20, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
June 30, 2003
I was 10 years old in 1973. I had only started to follow the Mets in '71, so this was my first pennant race. I watched the game on TV with my father. When Cleon Jones played the carom off the top of the fence and started the play that ended with Ritchie Zisk being nailed at the plate, my father turned to me and said, "they're gonna win. When a team starts getting breaks like that, they're gonna win." Because I was 10 and he was my dad, I believed it. It was a great feeling 'knowing' the Mets would win it. The night that the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs was great, but I don't know if it was better than this night.

August 26, 2003

I am absolutely astounded that only one person has written about this game. This was the most remarkable regular season game in Mets history, taking place in the most remarkable regular season series the Mets have ever been involved in. It was also the most meaningful regular season game in Mets history. Taking place at the peak of the 1973 pennant drive, it was a game the Mets absolutely had to have. The details of the game – and the series – were pure magic. I remember it all as if it were yesterday.

Actually, it could have been considered a 5-game series. The Mets played the first-place Pirates on five consecutive nights, the first 2 in Pittsburgh, followed by the next 3 at Shea. The Mets entered Pittsburgh 2 and a half games out and Seaver was bombed the first game, knocking the Mets 3 and a half out. The next night, the Mets were down by 3 runs entering the ninth. They rallied for 5 runs and held on, moving back to 2 ˝ out. The next night at Shea, they won easily, closing to a game and a half of the Pirates.

That brings us to this game. Words cannot describe the magic that was in the air. The Mets were desperate. Down by a run in the bottom of the sixth, they tied it. Down by a run in the bottom the eighth, they tied it again. And yet again, down by a run going to the bottom of the ninth, they had a man on second with two outs. Because Yogi Berra had pulled out all the stops, he had only back-up catcher Duffy Dyer to pinch- hit against tough closer Ramon Hernandez. Dyer doubled up the gap in left-center, tying the game. I’ll never forget Dyer immediately being replaced by a pinch-runner (a pitcher), jogging off the field to a standing ovation. It was then that Lindsey Nelson remarked about the “spirit of 1969” being in the air.

The game went to the top of the 13th and what has become known as the “Dave Augustine” play. With two outs and Richie Zisk on first base, Augustine hit a drive that appeared to be going for a home run. Instead, it hit the point at the very top of the wall, going directly on a fly into Cleon Jones’ hands. What was incredible was that an inch higher would have been a home run, and an inch lower would have caused the ball to bounce in a normal fashion, causing the Mets to lose precious seconds, and the run would have scored. Instead, Jones whirled and threw to Wayne Garrett, who had been moved to shortstop, who then threw to Ron Hodges at the plate for the out. Unbelievable.

Cleon Jones remarked later, "I knew we had won the game immediately after that play." Even the Pirates' great Willie Stargell said, "I knew after that play, we could have played 50 more innings and not beaten the Mets." Stargell also said, "I don’t think the National League All- Stars could have beaten the Mets in that series."

In the bottom of the 13th, it was the rookie Ron Hodges who hit a bloop single to left field with runners on first and second. I’ll never forget Stargell bobbling the ball as the winning run raced home.

Needless to say, the Mets won the next night with Seaver. It was the only time in baseball history that a team in September reached .500 and entered first place on the same night. The Mets never relinquished first place in the final two weeks of the season.

March 28, 2004

Frank-what a great appreciation for that game! I always thought part of the magic for that year began when the Mets inserted the name Hodges into the lineup and I remember listening to that game on AM radio in Pennsylvania as an eleven year old on WNEW-AM, which could be heard at night down there.

Leonard Koppett joked, half seriously, that it was the ghost of Gil Hodges that had kicked the ball back into Cleon's glove!

This was a game that summed up the entire season-Miracles do happen!

May 22, 2004

I too remember this game like it was yesterday. As a ten year old, I watched just about every game that year but this was one every true Mets fan should know about. The relay throw from Jones to Garret to Hodges should be used in instructional videos. It's 'Textbook 101.'

Hank M
April 13, 2005

I watched this game by myself on a small black and white TV we had in our kitchen. The rest of my family was in the living room watching (on our brand new large color TV) the famous "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which was played the same night. Being a devoted fan, I chose to watch the Mets! I do recall, though, that Bob Murphy gave updates of the match between pitches.

These were two memorable events. To this day, however, I'm convinced that the 13th inning provided more drama than did King and Riggs. Billie Jean's victory wasn't what one would call "surprising". But the play at the plate was something else! Who could have expected THAT? The relay of Jones to Garrett to Hodges was a more exhilirating highlight than anything served up in tennis that night.

June 8, 2005

Frank, you are 100% on the nose. This was the most important regular season game in Mets history. I remember all the details, just like you laid it out. Awesome job!

I think the Pirates were hung over from losing Clemente in the off season in the plane tragedy, and they had less will to win that year, because on paper they were still a solid team.

But the Mets took advantage of all the breaks that they got, the pitching came thru and the Dave Augistine play was the topper in the regular season that year. That was a magical year and an unforgettable game.

Ray Tucker
July 12, 2005

My recollections of this game are vivid. I was 9 years old, and lived and breathed Mets baseball. My father took me to this game, we sat in the first row of the upper deck on the third base side. I remember my father wanting to leave the game at some later stage, because he had to get up for work the next day, but I whined my way into our staying. Every time the Mets went down a run, my father wanted to leave, but I told him if we stayed, they would come back.

I remember the look on my father's face around the time the Dave Augustine play happened, I remember the whole crowd standing up to see what had happened, and I remember the roar of the crowd when Zisk was called out at the plate. I also remember them winning in the bottom half of that inning, us leaving the stadium at what must have been after 1 in the morning, and my father coming home from work with tickets for the September 25th game 5 days later against the Expos: Willie Mays night, if I remember correctly.

I've always thought of the 1973 Mets as a big portion of my childhood in a nutshell, and this game was an important part of the Mets magical 1973 season. I Was There! I still believe, Tug.

Matt Ward
August 18, 2005

This game is rightly remembered for the "ball on the wall" play----but wasn't this also the game that marked the return of George "The Stork" Theodore after that horrible collision with Don Hahn back in July? I remember that "The Stork" got quite an ovation when he came out to pinch-hit. But according to the box-score, he struck out. Still, if this indeed was the game that marked the return of "The Stork", it just adds to the lore of that great September evening.

john fenyar
November 6, 2006

I was a sophomore in college, sharing a basement apartment with my sister. I'm watching the game and remember vividly Dave Augustine hitting the ball off the TOP of the left field wall and the ball bouncing back into Cleon Jones glove - the relay to Harrelson and then to Ron Hodges tagging the runner out at the plate. I jumped up and yelled "I BELIEVE!!!" at the top of my lungs!

Jack Dieteman
September 16, 2007

I am getting chills reading the above comments. I was also 10 and lived and breathed Met baseball. I was watching it on a small B/W TV in my parents room. I was allowed to stay up late because they knew I would go crazy if I missed the pennant stretch games.

Life was good as a 10-year-old Met fan in 1973!

Joe Figliola
March 27, 2008

Of all the great regular-season Mets games in their history, for some reason this one doesn't get nearly as talked about as others. I am also a little surprised that one of the local newspapers have never done a feature on this game. I'd like to know what Dave Augustine thought of the "ball off the wall" play, as well as Cleon, Ron Hodges, and Richie Zisk. I'd also like to know if the TV feed is still around. This would be a true classic game for "Mets Rewind."

I was 10 at the time and did not see the game as it happened because I had to get up super early for school. I did hear the radio call on WCBS News the next morning and was absolutely dumbfounded (in a good way, of course).

Incidentally, Zisk will be featured in a bobble head tribute set to the Pirates of the 1970s. For his slow-footed contribution and getting nailed at the plate at the end of that mind-boggling play, I'm getting his bobble head.

Bill L.
July 13, 2008

What I remember most is that for some unfathomable reason, my Dad wanted to leave early to beat the traffic out of Shea. So, I couldn't exactly stop him, but I got him to agree to watch the ninth from the runway on a lower level. Anyway, we were standing there when Dyer hit that pinch hit double and then had to scramble back to our seats to see the rest of the game. I always think about that: if we had really left early, I would have missed seeing that ball hit the top of the fence and into Cleon's mitt (still the greatest play I have seen.)

John L
October 13, 2008

I don't remember how my father got tickets for this game but he surprised me and my brother with them. I was 9 and my brother was 7. We sat way up in the upper deck on the first base side.

This was my first memory of a pennant race and it was great. I don't remember sitting at all during this game and cheering like crazy when the win was in the bag. I also remember the whole crowd chanting "Good Bye Pittsburgh, Good Bye Pittsburgh, Good Bye Pittsburgh, We Hate To See You Go!!!" just like in 69 when the Mets knocked Chicago out of first place (black cat game another great game that I was too young to remember, unfortunately). This game more than made up for it and made me a life long Mets fan. Whenever we talk about great moments at Shea, I always bring up this game.

Michael Harrison
October 21, 2008

I was there. Thirteen years old at the time. Yes, updates on the scoreboard about the King-Riggs match. The crowd cheered when Billie Jean's victory was posted. We were sitting field level all the way down the left field line. (Talk about good luck.) You couldn't see home plate because of the angle, but you could see the top of that left field wall up close and personal. The ball hit the flat top of the wall, bounced up and back to Cleon instead of up and over. I could see Garrett's face as he took the throw from Jones and turned to make the relay. You couldn't see the play at the plate from there, but you could hear the crowd erupt. It was a school night and my father was going to take me home after the 12th inning. I told him Stargell was due up in the 13th so we should stick around. Glad we did. Still the most amazing thing I've seen on a baseball diamond. I've got the ticket stub signed by Jones, Garrett and Hodges. Cleon wrote "The Play" on it and Hodges wrote "Ball on the Wall Play."

Thomas DeMattia
January 7, 2009

I was 15 years old and at the time remember watching this game in my room on a 12 inch black and white. This play and game made such an impression on me that 35 plus years later I was recently thinking about it and was curious if it could be found online. I am glad to see I am not the only one who vividly remembers this game. The 1973 Mets pennant drive was just unbelievable and this game epitomized that stretch drive. That whole play everything went perfect including the Pirates having a slow runner in Zisk at first. As a lifelong Mets fan I have always felt the Augustine play was the most amazing moment in Mets history and yes I was at game 6 in 86. Without a doubt the most underrated. For the true Met fan unforgettable. If anyone knows where I can find a box score or highlight. Please let me know.

Katherine Hickey
February 21, 2010

I was there. I was 12 years old and a die hard Met fan. My father and brother went to get hot chocolate in the top of the 13th. I stood in the rampway and watched Augustine's drive just miss clearing the wall and the terrific relay of Jones to Garrett to Hodges cutting down Richie Zisk. My dad came back just in time to see the umpire signal "out" Later that inning Hodges won the game with his bloop hit. I remember walking down the ramps delirious with joy certain the Mets were going all the way. I also remember the body language of the Pirates as they slowly walked to the dugout. They seemed to know the tide had turned against them. Ironically the one player on that '73 team who stuck it out for all the lean years and was there when the franchise turned around was Ron Hodges.

Tim W.
August 9, 2010

Listened to Bob Prince call this on on my little radio (KDKA). A tough loss for the Bucs. All in all a great game.

Jason Levin
December 28, 2010

Having moved from NYC to LA in 1970 I wasn't at the game, but remember following that incredible pennant race from afar and hearing about the ridiculous play from friends the next day on the phone. Just a note that the game was started by the greatest clutch starter in Met history - #36 Jerry Koosman. Kooz pitched brilliantly, as he always did when it counted (check out his Sept/Oct record in 69/73 - AMAZING!) but wasn't around at the finish. Nice to read that so many of you were still in Shea for the lucky 13th inning to see "Red" Garrett nail Zisk at the plate.

marc singer
February 18, 2011

I'm writing this even though I normally don't do this. The reason being that one of my best friends called me up at the last minute and asked me if I wanted to go to the game with him. He had an extra ticket and I can't thank him enough. We were sitting behind the Pirates dugout 2nd or 3rd row so I can say I saw the play as clear as it was in slow motion on HD. I've been lucky to have been to quite a few great sporting events but this one will always stand out for all the reasons that have been said already. For me though that friend passed away last month and I'll always be in his debt for giving me that special night. Billie and Bobby fit in there somewhere but they can't hold a candle to that game and my Bro.

September 26, 2013

I was 9 years old at the time and was sitting in the last row of the field boxes right by the left field fence, so I was literally around 10 feet away from the play. I can still remember it as clear as day, from my brother saying "oh no" as it appeared the ball was going out, to the complete craziness of Shea when they threw out Zisk at the plate. I also remember when Duffy Dyer, who I believed was like a .180 hitter, came up to pinch hit, and a few guys who were sitting next to us threw their hands up in the air and figured the game was over. Only to come running back to their seats as Dyer doubled. When the Mets finally won it, this 9-year-old boy was slapping hands with complete strangers sharing in the joy of the win. Back when you didn't need the scoreboard to tell you to chant "Let's Go Mets." I really miss that innocence.

ralph messana
August 31, 2011

In 1973 I was 10. My friend was going to Shea for his birthday party. I couldn't go because we were going to be on vacation. Two days before vacation my mom had a minor injury but vacation was cancelled.

I remember just hanging out in my living room and then hearing a horn honk. It was my friends dad in their big green Torino station wagon. They didn't get me a ticket as I was supposed to be on vacation, but he said hop in and we will swap tickets so you can go. How cool was this guy?

I never dreamed the game would be that good. I was more nervous than in any game that I actually played in. The Mets coming back 3 times and the Jones-Garret-Hodges play was nuts.

I remember Endy's "the catch" and how people were freaking about how great a play it was with the pressure on. I agreed of course, but remembered back to 73 and an even better/more emotional play. I also remembered that unlike the Endy game, the Mets went on to win!

August 11, 2015

The Augustine ball still defies logic and physics. How can a ball traveling out and down strike a flat horizontal surface and change direction to travel back and up unless it perfectly struck the front leading edge of the top of the wall where the top and front surfaces intersect. Amazing. Most Met-friendly ball in Mets history until the ball that found its way around Buckner's glove 13 years later. Love it.

Tom Mandia
March 3, 2017

Great news is that the original radio broadcast of this game (and many others from the 60s and early 70s) is now available on YouTube on the Classic Baseball on the Radio channel. You can (and will) spend hours listening to the original Murphy/Kiner/Nelson radio broadcasts. Murph was doing radio when Augustine hit that one off the top of the wall and said that if the Mets wind up winning the pennant this play will be remembered for years to come. Check out that YouTube channel Mets fans!

September 21, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 10, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Gary Moore
September 20, 2001
This was my first live baseball game ever. I was seven years old and I got to see the Mets take over first place this night. Milner, Garrett and Staub hit bombs, and my idol Seaver pitched a terrific game. An awesome first game to ever see.

July 5, 2002

I was 10 years old at the time and my dad would take me to 1 or 2 games a year. In June, he told me to pick a game and I chose this one. The Mets moved into first place behind homers from Milner, Staub and Garrett. Seaver got the win and despite having an 8 run lead McGraw pitched the ninth and got a save since back then all you needed to do was finish a game regardless of the score to get one. It took us over two hours to get out of the parking lot. A man came running to our car and showed my father something that he said 'Crazy Harry' signed. My father said 'That's Nice' and rolled up the window.

May 19, 2005

I remember watching this game at my grandmother's. This was the game when we took over first place and I think the Mets hit .500 that night as well.

I don't think we ever fell out of first the rest of the year. I remember that it was on the front cover of the Daily News the next day.

Marc Campano
June 10, 2006

Thanks to your awesome website, I have been able to retrack this game as part of one of my most cherished childhood memories. I remember going to this game with my dad and older brother. I can still recall sitting on the third base side in the upper deck at Shea Stadium and the unforgetable aroma of beer and peanuts. This was the game in which the Mets took over first place in the N.L. East and I was astonished when I saw a N.Y. Daily News while riding back on the subway to Grand Central Station that read: Mets take over first place. The game had only been completed 20 minutes or so earlier and I could not believe it was already in the paper. This game will forever be part of my Mets and childhood memory bank. A special night indeed!

Joseph Gazzola
October 5, 2006

The greatest game I ever went to. I was 10 years old and my grandparents had bought tickets earlier in the year. After being in last place and having possibly the worst offense in baseball, the Mets went 22-7 (14-2 at home) from August 27 to september 25. That memorable night, they moved into first place with a 10-2 romp over Pittsburgh and never looked back. My favorite player was Rusty Staub, and when he hit a homer in that game I was so happy that I wept into my grandmother's arms.

Today it still seems surreal that this 82-79 team beat the powerhouse Reds and then went to the 7th game of the World Series against one of the greatest teams of all time, the Oakland A's. To me personally, this year was better than 1986. It still seems somewhat unreal.

October 5, 2006

I was always a huge Tom Seaver fan mostly because he pitched in this game, one of the first I ever went to.

My dad had gotten the tickets back in July when one of his friends, a season ticket holder had pretty much written the Mets off and gave his remaining tickets away. (HA!)

I have vivid memories of a large crowd, the smell of cigars and beer, and of the Mets winning the game. The scoreboard showed the standing immediately after the game with the Mets in front by 1/2 game. The crowd went wild.

April 26, 2010

I was at this game. I was 12. I was excited to see Seaver pitch. I wonder if it was a promotional day because most of the time we attended giveaway days like Bat Day or Helmet Day. I also remember hearing about Jim Croce dying on the way home to Connecticut; he had died in a plane crash the night before.

January 30, 2013

Just found this site! (in the bitter cold of a Mets off-season) But I lost my Dad last year, and of all the games that we went to together, this had the most ups and downs. The ups were obvious. The fans, still buzzing about the "ball- on-the-wall" play from the previous night, were in a full-fledged World Series frenzy. I believe the Mets grabbed a share of first place for the first time with this win. The downside was more personal. My Dad and I were used to getting to Shea two hours or so before the game. But this was a weekday game, so we couldn't start to go until he got home from work. First, there was a fire engine on our street blocking traffic. Then, we had to deal with rush hour traffic. THEN, by he time we got there, the lot was closed! We parked in a dingy gas station on Willets Pt. Blvd (we were afraid the car would be stripped when we got back). As a result, we missed the big first inning.

Quality Met
September 27, 2013

This was the game that put the Mets into first place in the National League East. I remember getting so excited when they scored those four runs in the first inning. I knew the division lead was just two hours away, and it was not to be lost!

Soon after that inning, I missed a half hour of the game. The reason for this was to see Joe Namath's much-anticipated appearance on The Brady Bunch, which went on a little later. But once Joe got finished with Bobby and Cindy, it was back to the Mets to complete a night to remember. It's hard to believe that 40 years have passed since then.

September 22, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Ed K
September 23, 2007
This is a less-remembered but critical game in the miracle of 1973. The schedule was weird that September as the Mets had won 4 of 5 against the Pirates (two games in Pittsburgh, three at Shea) during Monday through Friday and then had to turn around and play the Cards on Saturday afternoon on the national Game of the Week.

The Friday defeat of the Pirates had put them in 1st place and at .500 but a letdown on Saturday would have knocked them right back down. Fortunately, Jon Matlack was awesome pitching a four-hit shutout and they won 2-0. They stayed in 1st Place the rest of the way. I think Matlack was actually better than Seaver and Koosman that month. The game was a treat for me because I could watch it on television. I was away at college in Philly and following the Mets on he radio.

September 23, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Peter C.
November 23, 2005
Fan Appreciation Day. We all got white coffee mugs. The wild pennant race was coming down to the wire. Tommie Agee gave the Cards their only runs with a 2-run homer in the first. Stone was struggling in the opening inning but Joe Torre bailed him out by grounding into a double play. Something Met fans would see a lot of in coming years. The game was too important to allow ineffective pitchers to continue. Stone lasted only 2 innings and Card starter Mike Thompson was pulled after 2 batters and replaced by Rich Folkers. (Wasn't he in every other pack of baseball cards when we were kids?) I remember sitting in the loge and running down the steps to get the out of town scores off the scoreboard. Pirates were sweeping in Jarry Park but the Cubs were losing to the Phils. The Mets rallied and McGraw pitched a scoreless 3 innings to close out the win. Got home and found out that the Raiders had snapped the Dolphins unbeaten streak.

Dan Napolitano
October 21, 2008

This was the first game I ever went to. My Grandmother brought the tickets in August when the Mets were dead in the water. By game day they were in first place by a game. My dad had worked an overnight, picked up Grandma in Brooklyn, came home and got me and my two brothers. The place was packed and I vividly remember Wayne Garrett hitting an extra base hit up the alley in right center field. We all got a Mets mug, and a little slip of paper to be mailed in to pick our autograph of choice. I picked Garrett.

Peter C.
September 23, 2013

40 years ago today I was at this game. Thanks Mom and Anthony for taking me and giving me one of my best and longest lasting Met memories.

September 25, 1973 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, Montreal Expos 1
john m
December 21, 2004
First game I ever went to in person. Two brothers and I spent all spring saving Dairylea milk carton coupons (4 gallon container coupons equaled a free upper deck ticket) and picked a game in September.

Well, it turned out to be Willie Mays Night - 55,000+ to watch Willie say farewell and the Mets - in first place! Win a close game and retain first place! Chanting "We're number one!" leaving a sold out Shea for the IRT 7 - it's never been better!

Of course, next season the promotion was only valid for games thru July - not that the team contended seriously for another decade.

Check the box score - Bud Harrelson was intentionally walked!

Bob P
December 27, 2004

As JohnM says above, Bud Harrelson was intentionally walked, mainly because he was batting eighth. With two outs in the bottom of the second, Jerry Grote doubled. Harrelson was walked to get to Jerry Koosman, who popped to short to end the inning. Harrelson finished his career with 31 intentional walks, or about as many as Barry Bonds gets in a week!

Back to this game, the Mets scored first on a sac fly by Felix Millan in the fifth inning. The Expos tied it on an unearned run in the top of the sixth but Cleon Jones quickly untied it with a one-out homer in the bottom of the sixth.

The win, combined with a 2-1 win by the Phillies in Pittsburgh, moved the Mets a game and a half ahead of the Pirates with five games remaining.

Ray Tucker
July 5, 2005

My memories of this game aren't as vivid as the September 20 game against the Pirates (the "Ball on the Wall" game), but I do remember being there. My father and I had no idea it was Willie Mays night, and my most vivid memory was after the Mets had won, the big scoreboard in right field lit up with "Look Who's in First", and listed the National League East standings after the game with the Mets in first place.

October 19, 2011

I was in attendance for Willie Mays night on September 25, 1973. It was one of my most memorable nights ever at Shea. My mother's friend took me and my brother. I was in 6th grade at the time and it is interesting to note my mother's friend coincidentally happened to be my Spanish teacher's mother!

We got there very early and I saw Channel 2's Andy Fisher file a report outside Gate C. (First time I ever saw a live TV report.)

We were in the first base mezzanine with a bunch of Giants fans and during the pre-game ceremonies I never heard anybody get booed more lustily than Horace Stoneham did. Willie's final words, "Willie, say goodbye to America" were amazin'.

Joe Santoro
August 11, 2015

The night was bittersweet. I heard the game on the radio, because my older sister wouldn't let me watch the TV. She was watching a Rolling Stones documentary- "Gimme Shelter" I was 10 years old. Could care less about music. All I cared about was sports, the Mets, and Willie Mays. I had to hear his retirement speech on the radio as well as the game. I was very emotional from the combination of the speech and, but mostly, from not being able to watch it live. At least I did get to see the highlights on the news. However I did get my revenge in the post season!

September 30, 1973 Wrigley Field
Chicago Cubs 1, Mets 0
David Graf
October 28, 2006
I remember a rainy day and Dave Rosselo scoring the only run.

October 1, 1973 Wrigley Field
Mets 6, Chicago Cubs 4
John P.
July 31, 2002
I remember bringing a transistor radio to my High School with me and listening to the score whenever I could sneak in the ear phone in class. The weather in Chicago was brutal and it seemed that the game would end in a snowstorm. Seaver pitched a clutch game and the umps did a good job of getting it in and then called off the second game of a scheduled doubleheader. The Pirates were playing a make up with the lowly Padres and needed a Met double header loss coupled with a win. The Pirates, when they got wind of the Met's victory, blew a lead and lost as well. It was an incredible August and September when the Mets, left for dead, came off the mat and made it to the 7th game of the Series.

October 6, 1973 Riverfront Stadium
1973 National League Championship Series Game 1
Cincinnati Reds 2, Mets 1
June 15, 2003
Oh, did this game break my heart. I can still see Seaver walking off the mound. He was awesome, but two later homers and no run support did him in.

Bench and Rose with 8th and 9th inning homers. I forget which order. Both solo shots, one to the opposite field...ugghh. Good thing we went on to win the series!

Dennis Maier
August 23, 2006

I remember Seaver pitched one of the best games of his career and he drove in the only run the Mets got ! I watched the game with my Uncle Tommy (now deceased) and his friend John McNamara. Thanks, Tom Seaver, for the memories.

Dennis Maier
October 5, 2006

I remember watching this game well.This was one of the best games Tom Seaver ever pitched. People need to note how great the Reds hitters were to really appreciate Seaver's performance. Bench, Rose, Morgan,and Perez were all future Hall Of Famers. And Dan Drieson batted over 300 in 1973. I watched the game with my Uncle Tommy, now deceased. Thanks, Tom Seaver, for the memories.

October 7, 1973 Riverfront Stadium
1973 National League Championship Series Game 2
Mets 5, Cincinnati Reds 0
June 15, 2003
Wow...surprised that I'm the first to post on this fantastic game.

As I mentioned in the Jon Matlack memories section, this was hands down the best game ever pitched by a NY Met. Ranks up there with best post-season performances in MLB history.

Mets were down 1 game to 0 in a best of 5, on the road against the Big Red Machine. Matlack pitched a two-hit shuthout. Just amazing, and clutch as can be.

The two Cincy hits were by Andy Kosko, of all people. I assume JM went the whole nine. Will look that up in a minute. Does anyone else miss those days, when a manager let a pitcher go the whole way?

I can't stand this Tony LaRussa crap that is now the standard operating procedure: go to your eight innning guy and then go to your ninth inning guy. That template would have made this '73 gem just another bland victory by committee.

August 5, 2009

Just so you know Lendog you were right. John Matlack did go all 9 innings. And Andy Kasco did get both hits. Also even if this was current day baseball, any manager would let John Matlack go all 9.

October 8, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 National League Championship Series Game 3
Mets 9, Cincinnati Reds 2
January 17, 2001
As a young (11 years old) Mets fan in 1973, I got the thrill of my life when my father told me that I was going to attend that day's playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, a friend of my father, Stanley Binger, worked as a host in the Diamond Club restaurant at Shea Stadium, so the plan was that he would be taking me into the game and I would be sitting by myself in the lodge section just outside the Diamond Club area (imagine a mother allowing THAT to happen today!). I was being supervised to some degree by one of the ushers, who Mr. Binger obviously trusted with my well being. Even though I was a rather shy eleven year old, I certainly couldn't pass up the chance to see my heros play The Big Red Machine in a playoff game, so if I had to sit in a big stadium amongst thousands of complete strangers, then so be it!

It was a wonderful game as the Mets jumped out to an early 9-2 lead. All of a sudden, in the fifth inning, everyone around me jumped to their feet and roared. Since I was so small I was unable to see what was happening with all the adults standing up around me. I asked the man next to me what was going on, and he told me that Pete Rose was beating up Bud Harrelson. I remember saying, "He can't do THAT!" I also remember vividly, Willie Mays and Yogi going out and pleading with the fans in the left field stands to stop throwing things at Rose, or the Mets would have to forfeit the game. I couldn't imagine what a riot that might have caused.

The fans calmed down, however, and the Mets won the game, and I was probably the happiest baseball fan on the planet that day. I have no souveniers from the game (I don't think I was even concerned about souveniers that day), but I will always have that memory of my greatest day as a Mets fan.

Howard Levy
April 13, 2001

I was a beer vendor covering the left field side of the upper deck. After the fight between Pete Rose and Bud Harrelson, people were grabbing the cans of beer off my tray to throw onto Rose's head in left field. Because of that incident, 1973 was the last year vendors sold beer out of cans at Shea.

Dave Shaw
October 16, 2001

I was in the mezzanine down the LF line with a couple of friends. The whole incident with Rose played out right in front of us. What people may forget is that Rusty Staub hit two home runs that day despite a wrist injury that forced him to essentially swing the bat with one hand, sort of like a tennis player.

Mike from the Bronx
January 8, 2004

I was sitting in the upper left field stands. After the Rose incident I remember Rusty Staub coming out to left field to plead with the fans to stop throwing objects. He had his bat with him and was pointing to the scoreboard to stress that the Mets were way ahead and we were in danger of forfeiting. If I'm not mistaken Willie Mays and Seaver were with him. I remember being scared because the upper stands started to sway with all of the fans jumping around. Props to Wayne Garrett for being the first one to literally jump in to save Buddy.

Drew Dippolito
December 30, 2006

Game 3 of the 1973 LCS is the earliest memory I have of an actual Mets baseball game. Of course, what I remember most was that my dad actually took me (at 9 years old), my younger brother and two cousins to a playoff game! The series was tied at one game each with the Cincinnati Reds coming to Shea. The Mets jumped out to a huge lead as Le Grande Orange hit two homers and drove in four runs.

My clearest memory of the game occurred at the end of the fifth inning. With the Mets ahead 9- 2, future Hall-of-Famer Joe Morgan hit a ground ball to John Milner at first. The runner on first, known as Charlie Hustle, slid hard into second base in an unsuccessful attempt to break up a 3-6-3 double-play that ended the inning.

From our seats in the upper deck behind home plate I told my dad that something was happening at second base. He told me that the inning was over, completed the entry in his scorebook, and then looked up to see Pete Rose beating up Bud Harrelson. The crowd went wild. We went wild.

Rose got the best of little Bud, but the Mets got the best of the Big Red Machine in the game and in the series. The Mets secured the pennant and I secured my dad's scorebook.

Stan Bujacich
October 13, 2008

I was 13 at the time and planning my day around watching the game on NBC. It was Columbus Day and we were off from school and my friends and I played touch football late morning to early afternoon then we watched the game at my friend's house in Cambria Heights, Queens. I remember Koosman was sharp striking out Tony Perez to end the top of the 1st. Then the Mets started hitting. Rusty Staub had a huge day. Then the famous fight between Rose and Harrelson. NBC's camera had the back of the Reds 3rd base coach and I remember yelling at the TV for him to move. Jim Simpson and Maury Wills did the game for NBC. Then the Mets had to tell the fans too stop throwing stuff at Pete Rose in left field. It was a great game. Looking to acquire the tape of that game and series. Does anyone know where I can purchase a copy of that game and or series?

Joe Figliola
March 18, 2009

I thought this game was played on a Saturday afternoon, because I was outside playing with my friends (mom didn't believe in her kids staying in on a nice sunny afternoon, so she kicked me out) when my mother called over to me and told me about the Rose/Harrelson fight. Hearing her tell it was just as exciting as watching it.

Anyway, I have to agree with Stan. I would LOVE to see A/E put out the complete 1973 NLCS on DVD. The games do exist, and the series was one of the most exciting ever.

Shickhaus Franks
April 24, 2009

When someone mentions Columbus Day, I don't think about Queen Isabella, the 3 Ships or any parade (although I am 1/2 Italian); I think about game 3 of the 1973 NLCS and the now famous Buddy Harrelson-Pete Rose brawl. I still get chills listening to Bob Murphy's blow by blow account and to this day my friend Kathy (who's all time fave Met is Buddy) cannot stand Peter Edward Rose and the Mets got sweet revenge when the Amazin's won in 5 (the NLCS was best of 5 until 1984).

Shickhaus Franks
December 13, 2010

Two things that stick out: If you look up the website retrosheet.org and go to the boxscore, it doesn't even mention the fight. Also, go on youtube.com and type in Our World Fall 1973. It was a ABC News show that would air a period of time in the world's history and that particular episode mentions the 1973 NLCS as well as more serious matters like Watergate and the troubles of the Middle East.

February 15, 2013

How about during the brawl...Pedro Borbon picked up a Met hat and put it on. When he realized it he threw it to the ground and stomped on it! There was a lot of emotion out there.

October 9, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 National League Championship Series Game 4
Cincinnati Reds 2, Mets 1
April 29, 2005
Isn't this the game where Pete Rose won it for the Reds with an extra-inning home run? I think it was the day after the Rose-Harrelson fight. I will never forget how happy Pete Rose looked when he hit that home run; he was easy to hate in those days.

Joe Santoro
October 7, 2008

This was the game when Rusty Staub made that great catch in right field, where he slammed into the wall and robbed Dan Dressien of an extra base hit. Unfortunately he separated his shoulder in the process. If he was 100% in the World Series, who knows what might have been. Rusty Staub was truly the M.V.P. of the series.

October 10, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 National League Championship Series Game 5
Mets 7, Cincinnati Reds 2
Howard Levy
April 13, 2001
I was a Shea beer vendor for Harry M Stevens, but on this day I wasn't too interested in selling beer. My vendors badge allowed me to get into the ballpark. My father took my sister out of school--- told the principal there was a family emergency--- and got tickets in the upper level. I couldn't wait to run onto the field since I saw it done in 1969. In the eighth inning we crouched in the aisles in the field level, perched to run onto the field. As soon as the final out was made, all the temporary plywood stands along the field crunched over in unison. It sounded like hundreds of fireworks going off together. I danced onto the field and took some sod samples to plant in my parents Levittown lawn. One sad note, though. At the final out, Mets centerfielder Willie Mays was attempting to run off the field through the right field bullpen. I suppose a fan tried to nab Willie's hat or glove, because I saw Number 24 wrestle the fan to the ground inside the bullpen and beat him up.

August 16, 2002

I was a senior in college and my friend and our two girlfriends cut class and drove to Shea. I remember walking up to the ticket both and getting 4 tickets. Wow! It was an exciting game and everybody booed Pete Rose the whole game. Seaver pitched a great game and it was a nice touch when Yogi took him out to a standing ovation in the ninth. By then we all moved down and stood in the lower box section. When Tug got the last two out everyone piled onto the field and a great dust cloud covered it. Grass chunks were missing from hundreds of spots. I stayed in the stands and saw the last NL Chamionship banner right in front of me. I asked the cop next to me if I could have it and he said 'sure'. The Mets had derailed the Big Red Machine and were '73 NL Champions headed to the World Series.

May 16, 2003

I was 12 yrs old, already a die-hard fan. I had missed school to watch games 3 & 4 on TV. So on that morning, I resigned to the fact that I couldn’t miss school again, and I would miss the start of the game. But as luck would have it, my older brother came up with a wild idea – he informed me not only was I going to miss school again to watch Game 5, but that we were going to the Big Shea and try to but tickets to the game!

We bought general admission tix at the window for $3.00 each, up from the usual $1.50. I still have the colorful stub.

We all know what happened in Game 5 - plus I remember the 'Spiro Agnew resigns' flash on the scoreboard. During the 8th inning, my brother and I made it from the last row in the upper deck to about the 4th row behind 3rd base as the Reds threatened in the ninth.

We were among the first to make it onto the field, and I remember my jubilation quickly turned to horror as none other than Pete Rose was running right at me. He was like a blocking fullback, knocking over anyone in his path. Rose headed right at me, who was weighing in at about 80 lbs at the time. Luckily, I saw him in time and dodged him, then I had to duck a couple of other Reds as well.

I remember seeing many injured fans laid out, hurt in the stampede. I then went to home plate, but others were already cutting it up with an army knife. Ditto for the pitching rubber. So after grabbing a piece of the infield grass, we headed to the right field pen, where we cut up a piece of the bullpen tarp. We took the grass home, rolled up in the tarp. I then planted the grass in my parents back yard, and the grass still lives today!

Chas. Paige
September 19, 2003

My employer gave me a box seat ticket for this game. The box was #257E, seat 8, field level. I was very happy to attend this game but the end of the game proved to be more interesting. I recall people jumping over the rails, pulling out huge chunks of sod and throwing them into the stands. I caught one of the chunks and brought it to a co-worker who was a REAL Mets fan. He treated it like gold, took it home and planted it in his backyard, and surrounded it with a tiny fence. He was thrilled to have that bit of the Mets right in his own backyard forever. I still have the ticket showing "Mr. Met" running with his cap falling off.

Skip Card
March 4, 2004

The legal notes kept by Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun were released to the public on March 4, 2004. Among the papers was a small memo that was handed to Blackmun from fellow justice Potter Stewart while the two were on the Supreme Court bench hearing arguments in a court case. The undated memo reads, "V.P. Agnew Just Resigned!!" Below, it says, "Mets 2, Reds 0." The note must have been passed after the first or second innings, or early in the third. The date could only have been Oct. 10, 1973. I am pleased to see that some of the most powerful men in the United States, hearing a legal case that was important enough to merit the high court's attention, still took a few moments to keep abreast of the NL championship -- as well as other matters of national importance.

November 29, 2005

I was 11 and my father pulled me out of school to go to the game. Our seats were great. Box seats on the first base side. I was in awe of the Big Red Machine. Who wouldn't be? Rose, Perez, Morgan etc. This was only a few days after the celebrated Rose Harrelson Fight and passions were inflamed. Tom Seaver was my favorite and he was on the mound. I think I remember the sign man being on the other side of the field. It was a noisy crowd. I remember Seaver pitching great, and Willie Mays' crummy little infield squibler (third base side?) which we thought might be his last hit.

I remember watching the wild celebration on the field and my father hanging on to me so that I wouldn't be knocked over as what seemed like thousands of people swarmed past us onto the field. My dad was not a huge baseball fan, but he definitely was excited when he learned that Agnew resigned. I remember him telling me Agnew was a crook, who never should have been Vice President. I'd been to games before, 100's of games after, but that one game made me a fan for life. That's why my email address is Metsfan@compuserve.com.

Bob Duffy
March 27, 2008

I was 15 in 1973 and a rabid Mets fan. Played hooky and went to the game (day game, do they still exist?). Got to Shea early, bought a three dollar ticket and wandered around the old World's Fair site before the game. My friend and I snuck down to the box seats and amazingly weren't thrown out. A lady actually gave us 2 tickets.

Bear with me here. 1st inning a great omen as Willie Mays "legs out" (remember he was 90 at the time) an infield semi-chopper. Crowd is insane all game after recent mugging of 112 Lb. Harrelson by arch-vilain Rose (historical footnote-scoreboard shows Agnew being forced out of White House at gunpoint, or at least being asked to leave). End of game.

It seems that all 58,000 people are in the aisles or on the baseline's temporary barriers (set up for cameramen), most of them on my back. As the final out is made 58,000 souvenir hunters storm the field. I'm looking for something to grab. Unbelievably Darrel Chaney is still in front of the Reds dugout (was he on deck?). Chaney was filling in at shortstop for the injured Dave Conception. I run over to him at about 90 miles an hour, jump on his back and grab his hat. It seemed right at the time. I ran off and he actually swung the bat he was holding and caught me in the arm. I didn't blame him then and I don't blame him now.

If fans tried this stuff today they'd be trampled by 1,000 horses brought up from Philadelphia.

I return to school the next day (Brooklyn's Xaverian) with the hat to show off. Unfortunately Chaney sports a 6-7/8 hat size, too small to even fit most high schoolers so of course everyone figures I'm full of crap (as some of you may now). I'm crushed.

October 13, 1973 Oakland Coliseum
1973 World Series Game 1
Oakland Athletics 2, Mets 1
September 25, 2003
Millan's error cost us the two unearned runs and you could say the Series. I can still see that ball going right under his glove and through his legs. A ball he caught thousands of times before, a ball a little leaguer could have caught.

October 19, 2011

I was a 9 year-old at the game by myself. My dad was able to get one ticket and he gave it to me. I sat at the top of the stadium, but I remember Ken Holtzman's double down the left field line and the thrill of getting to see Willie for the last time. I was fortunate enough to see him with the Giants at Candlestick against the Pirates in the 71 playoffs. Growing up in the East Bay, I was a huge A's fan. What a crazy, talented team they were in those days.

February 15, 2013

I remember this is the World Series where Reggie Jackson earned his nickname "Mr. October" - mostly for his explosive bat in Games 6 and 7. But oddly in this game Tug McGraw actually walked Bando intentionally to get to Jackson to go with the percentages (Lefty vs. Lefty). Grote just missed a 2-run HR (barely foul) late in the game that would have won it. You can make an argument the Mets should have won all of the first 5 games - but it just didn't happen. They never had a chance in 6 or 7 - Thanks to "Mr. October", who either scored or batted in 5 of the A's 8 runs those last 2 games.

October 14, 1973 Oakland Coliseum
1973 World Series Game 2
Mets 10, Oakland Athletics 7
April 1, 2003
This was the attempted sac fly by Felix Millian. Bud Harrelson trying to score from third only to be called out on a blown call by the umpire. On constant replays of 1973 highlight film he was safe.

Ken Akerman
April 3, 2003

I have seen replays of this game on ESPN Classic. Watching this game shows how baseball has changed in the past 30 years. It is remarkable to see Tug McGraw, a relief pitcher, go six full innings in this game. A relief pitcher would never go this long today. Also, this game was historically significant because it was the last game that Willie Mays ever played.

April 1, 2006

The thing I remember about this game was that Catfish Hunter and Tom Seaver were both warming up in the bullpen. Dick Williams knew how to manage. He got Hunter up and Yogi responded by getting Seaver up.

I remember thinking about this game in 1999 when Valentine let Kenny Rogers walk in the series winning run against the Braves. He could have brought in Rick Reed, who was scheduled to pitch game 7.

October 16, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 World Series Game 3
Oakland Athletics 3, Mets 2
Feat Fan
March 22, 2004
Game 3 of the 1973 World Series, the last game Willie Mays played.

At age 42, Mays was well past his prime, but he started Game 1 and played in the field in Game 2. His final appearance was as a pinch-hitter, stepping in for reliever Tug McGraw. He grounded into a forceout and never played again in the series, quietly ending one of the greatest careers of all.

Still the best ballplayer that I've ever seen and I'm sure that he never needed a steroid!

Donald Stokes
January 17, 2006

Met catcher Jerry Grote dropped the third strike from Harry Parker in the top of the 10th inning which lead to Oakland scoring the lead run.

October 5, 2006

Wasn't there but what coulda been. Without the Grote passed ball, maybe the Mets win the game and the series in 5 (as they won the next two). That arguably would have gone down as the biggest WS upset after the Miracle Mets 69 win.

Bob (Diehard Mets fan)
February 9, 2009

Game 3 of the 1973 World Series was my very first World Series game that I attended. Shea Stadium was rocking. I can still see all the great highlights of the game. Wayne Garrett's first inning home run. Tom Seaver striking out Reggie Jackson three times and Willie Mays batting for the last time in his career. Even though the Mets lost the game being at a Mets World Series game is the greatest.

October 17, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 World Series Game 4
Mets 6, Oakland Athletics 1
Christopher Hagee
August 14, 2009
At the outset of that 4th game of the 70th World Series between the Athletics and Mets in the since-demolished Shea Stadium, (God rest his soul) the late Nelson Briles, who was pitcher at that time, sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" (the U.S. National Anthem).

November 18, 2009

This was my first World Series game, and only baseball game that I went to with my Dad (RIP). What I remember most about this game that Rusty drove in 5 of the 6 runs and Ken Holtzman not getting out of the first inning.

October 18, 1973 Shea Stadium
1973 World Series Game 5
Mets 2, Oakland Athletics 0
October 7, 2008
I think Cleon Jones played this game with 102 fever and the flu. I was only 7 at the time but I remember the announcers saying this. And Jones had a good game going 2 - 4 with a run scored! Another great post-season start by Kooz with McGraw finishing it up. It looked like the Mets were on their way to winning it all.

After this game I remember my father saying "well no matter how it turns out at least they (the Mets) won 2 out of 3 for the home crowd." This was of little consolation to me after the A's won the series in 7.

December 19, 2008

I was at this game. I remember Tug McGraw coming in to relieve all psyched up, tossing his mitt to the batboy and jumping off the golf cart before it even came to a stop. The crowd going wild with that Irish Jig music that accompanied his entrance. If memory serves, he struck out the side in the 9th on nine pitches. But, if it didn't happen that way, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

This was also the game Mike Andrews got the standing ovation from Mets fans when Charlie Finley was forced to restore him to the roster after Finley tried to replace him following a game in which Andrews made two errors.

February 15, 2013

How about the Scoreboard flashing......

Miricle number 2...Just 3 Thousand miles away

October 20, 1973 Oakland Coliseum
1973 World Series Game 6
Oakland Athletics 3, Mets 1
June 30, 2003
I was ten then; I'm forty now. I've had thirty years to think about it, and I still don't understand it. Why did Yogi pitch Seaver on three days rest when he had a 3-2 lead? Imagine how tough the Mets would have been in game 7 with Seaver starting and Matlack in the bullpen. I didn't get it then. I don't get it now, and my best guess is that I won't get it when I'm seventy.

March 10, 2006

I still don't understand why Yogi pitched Seaver on three days rest when he was one win away from their second World Championship in 5 years. This decision still frustrates me 33 years later.

Frank the Met
October 13, 2008

Ok, I too have been wondering and have been bothered about all this for 35 years. Let's go over what preceded it. The Mets rotation went Seaver-Matlack-Koosman-Stone. When the Mets were up 2 games to one against the Reds, with a game they could afford to lose, Yogi went with Stone. Bear in mind that Stone had a career year, going 12-3, and pitched very well against the Reds, giving up only one run and getting a no-decision. The Mets lost the game in 12 innings but had a well-rested Seaver in Game 5, which they obviously won.

Now we get to the World Series. An almost identical situation, except the Mets were on the road in Oakland for the last two games. They had been home against the Reds.

Anyway, the Mets were up 3 games to 2 and could afford to lose one. What is crucial for younger fans to understand is that Tom Seaver was the biggest proponent of the fourth day of rest. He was very vocal about it his entire career. And there is no doubt that Seaver was simply not as dominant on three days rest.

But Yogi chose to go with Seaver in game 6 and Matlack in Game 7. And we all know what happened.

For years, I have given Yogi the benefit of the doubt, but I've changed my mind for two reasons. Last year, I heard the 1973 Oakland manager Dick Williams say he was shocked at what Yogi had done, and felt the A's simply could not have beaten a well-rested Seaver in a Game 7.

Then just last week, in an All-Star game interview on WFAN, Ed Kranepool, who said the 1973 Series loss was the most devastating point in his career, criticized Yogi's decision.

Kranepool said that Yogi was worried about being criticized in the press for not going with his two best pitchers.

October 15, 2008

Yogi should have started George Stone this game and saved Seaver for Game 7. Stone was 12-3 2.40 for the year winning his last 8 decisions and he deserved to start. And Seaver would have been well-rested for Game 7. Seaver did not pitch terrible in Game 6 but he did not have his best stuff. Could you imagine this happening today with SNY, ESPN, WFAN and all the sports coverage out there now? This decision would have been analyzed and re-analyzed then second-guessed ad nauseum. I was only 7 in 1973 and I remember a big deal being made about it back then.

I saw Stone at a baseball card show with a friend like 10 years ago and asked him about it and he definitely wanted the ball in Game 6. We'll never know what could have been.

Joe Santoro
August 9, 2010

It doesn't make a difference whether or not Yogi pitched Stone. Why don't they criticize Dick Williams for pitching Catfish on 3 days rest, or Holtzman for that matter. Rusty Staub could have put the Mets ahead, but struck out in game 6 (only because of his separated shoulder). Matlack was the hottest Met pitcher down the season stretch. It made sense pitching him in game 7. Tom Seaver said so himself, repeatedly, that it was the right move. Injuries were the plague of the 1973 season. If the Mets were completely healthy, they would've won over 90 games and be world champs!

September 26, 2013

Joe is correct, Matlack was darn near unhittable the last month of the season. Berra would have been skewered by the press if he pitched Stone in 6 and Seaver in 7 and pushed Matlack out of a start - who would know Matlack would stink it up in Game 7? Hindsight is 20/20. There are lots of fingers you can point at why the Mets lost this World Series: Millan's error, Grote's passed ball, Reggie Jackson's 2 GREAT catches playing CF for an injured Bill North, Tenace and Bando's clutch hits in Game 3, Staub's K in Game 6, Mets inability to drive in runners in scoring position in tight games. Definitely a shame. It was still an amazing 6 weeks for this third grader. I can still feel the sinking feeling when Garret's pop up came to rest in Campy's glove. Weren't we all sure they would win?

Jimmy B
October 6, 2015

The fact to the matter is, no one questioned why Seaver started game 6 until after the World Series over. It's always easy to second guess.

Joe S
October 14, 2015

If you followed Tom Seaver's career, he has been no stranger to 3 days rest. He had 3 days rest when they won the NL pennant. It is not unusual. No one worried about pitch counts in those days.

October 21, 1973 Oakland Coliseum
1973 World Series Game 7
Oakland Athletics 5, Mets 2
October 25, 2000
I distinctly remember that gargantuan Jack-ass Reggie Jackson homering off of Matlack and standing at Home- Plate for about a week and I half to admire it.. I was 15 years old at the time and watching at my Uncles house in South Beach,Staten Island and recall thinking that if I were on the mound this shameless Hotdog would be tasting dirt the next time up.I remember my anguish when Wayne Garrett popped up to end it but then I realized what a truly remarkable season it had been. If Tom Seaver would have beaten Catfish Hunter the day before we would have been World Champions, but it was not to be.

May 19, 2005

I was nine going on ten when I watched this game. From late August until Game 7, it was probably the best stretch of Mets baseball I had ever seen. (And that includes '86!)

Only time I ever cried after a Mets game. Why did Yogi not rest Seaver until Game 7?

March 17, 2006

This was the game Seaver should have pitched. This was the game that might not have even happened if Yogi hadn't started Seaver on three days rest the day before. But it was not to be. As a New York sports fan (who despises the Yankees), there are four players in sports history who stand out as villains. There is Reggie Miller, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, and Reggie Jackson. When Jackson hit that monster blast off Matlack you could tell it was over, but it was a great season. However, after this season their team fell apart at the seams and they would not become contenders again until the Doc Gooden age.

October 7, 2008

I was a 14 year old girl, this team was my life, and this game devastated me. I remember thinking that we fans had willed this over-achieving team into the WS, and that it was destiny. I loved these guys.

After the last out, my mother called us in for spaghetti dinner. I was crying silently, absolutely devastated. I couldn't even talk. My mother asked my sisters, "What's wrong with her?" They all said, "The Mets lost the WS." She didn't say much to me, but she didn't force me to talk or eat. I didn't eat a bite of my favorite meal. I went upstairs to my bedroom and cried my eyes out. It was a sad day.

October 15, 2008

I was 7 years old when I saw this game. I watched Games 6 and 7 in Virginia because my parents had friends there that we were visiting. This was the first time I experienced real disappointment as a child to the point where it hurt.

And I'm still not totally over it years later. Matlack was a great pitcher for the Mets but he just did not have it on this day. I will always wonder what could have been if George Stone pitched Game 6 and a well-rested Seaver started Game 7 (if necessary!)

Frank the Met
April 17, 2013

I have read the preceding comments and I sadly have to agree. It has been 40 years and I have not gotten over this loss. Nothing can console me, not even the 1986 World Series win. To be one game away, to be up three games to two, to come so close and not win, well, it has been devastating. A win in this World Series would have given the Mets a wonderful narraive - two World Series championships in a 5-year period with basically the same players - the Seaver, Jones, Harrelson, Koosman, McGraw era. Indeed, it should have been Stone in Game 6 and then Seaver in this game. Still, the 1973 Mets will also be a beloved group to the Met fans who remember the wonderful run in September and October. It was truly magical.

Larry at 12 Remembers
October 22, 2013

I was heartbroken then, but 40 years has allowed reality to set in: this was the true Miracle Mets, insofar it was Amazin' that a team so erratic and in last place only two months earlier could find themselves in Game 7 of the World Series. The 1969 team likewise was offensively weak, but steady and well managed. Yogi's inability to give Seaver and Matlack more breathing room and pull off the Gil Hodges-type moves proved fateful, but the story of this Series: the better team won. But a dramatic run, no doubt. A team that wins a pennant with the super platoon of Don Hahn and Davey Schneck in center field because it's better than Willie Mays? The Miracle of 1973!

March 3, 2015

Matlack was the right call. Since July (before the fateful last Game 7 inning) he had a 2.13 ERA, 7 complete games and 4 shutouts including a complete game shutout against the Reds in the NLCS. In 25 post season innings that October (prior to the last one) he gave up no earned runs. He pitched well on 3 days rest during that stretch, who was to know it would fall apart. I wonder what Grote thought of his arm the first two innings.. They could have won each one of the first 6 games. It will always be the Series of what might have been.. "of all the words of tongue and pen, none are more painful than 'what might have been' ".

Denise Rose Rutan
October 6, 2015

Like some of the other commenters, I was about 10 years old and still not over it, all of these years later. Jon Matlack was a great pitcher, it happens how it happens. Lots of people would like to see NYC focused on the Mets this year and win it for Yogi. He was a great manager and his humor is right up there with how baseball affects society for the better.

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